Katie Hobbs Named Winner in Arizona Governor’s Race by NBC & CNN; GOP’s Kari Lake Final Election Denier of 2020 Loses Intermediate Bid

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It was a real nail-biter at the Grand Canyon State, but Katie Hobbs triumphed over former TV anchor and Donald Trump acolyte Kari Lake in the race to become Arizona’s next governor, NBC and CNN projected Monday.

The tight race between the candidates has been too close to call since Tuesday’s midterms, but the state’s latest results showed that Republican Lake would be unable to overcome the lead of current Arizona Secretary of State Hobbs. As more than 71,000 votes and other data came in from Maricopa County tonight, the Comcast-owned network made its call:

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CNN declared Hobbs the winner at 6:15 p.m. PT.

Lake’s defeat is a stunning result for a candidate who looked poised to become the next star on the right. Just hours before the polls closed on Nov. 8, the almost-always-balanced Lake told reporters at a press conference that she would be “your worst nightmare in eight years, and we’ll reform the media, too.” We are going to turn you into journalists again.” Lake was endorsed by Donald Trump and strongly embraced his election denial.

On election night and since then, Hobbs had a slight lead over Lake, surprising many pundits who had questioned the quiet Democrat’s strategy of refusing to participate in a debate with her rival. Lake, meanwhile, has beaten Arizona election officials as slow and incompetent as the process took time. She also expressed doubts about the results, but some have refuted allegations of election conspiracy.

Bill Gates, the Republican chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, countered Lake’s claims, telling reporters that her criticism was “offensive.”

Lake’s strategy of questioning the results even landed her in the Saturday Night Live cold open last weekend, in which she was shown bashing the legitimacy of the state’s count when she was told she was behind but praised when she was ahead. The skit also featured ex-local newscaster Lake as a possible TBEN News host should she lose the election — a fiction that looks a lot like fact yet to come true.

Hobbs, a pick-up for Joe Biden’s party, will become the first Democratic governor of the increasingly blie state since Janet Napolitano, who served from 2003 to 2009. Former Veep Biden won Arizona in 2020 in a very tight race of its own against former Celebrity Apprentice host Trump – a fact the ex-POTUS clearly never got over.

Lake is the latest election denier to lose her bid. On Friday, networks predicted that Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) would defeat another Trump supporter, Blake Masters, in the race for the U.S. Senate in Arizona and win a full term for himself. With the former astronaut returning to the upper room and Nevada incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto declared the winner in her thrilling race on Nov. 12, the Democrats now have 50 seats in the Senate. Even as Georgia’s runoff is due to be decided on December 6, with Vice President Kamala Harris handling the tiebreaker, Democrats now retain control of the upper chamber after midterm elections that many predicted would see President Joe Biden and the Dems drown a red wave that never showed up.

In Arizona alone, Hobbs’ victory spells a complete defeat for Trump-sponsored 2020 election deniers and Big Lie supporters.

Control of the House of Representatives is still unknown, but it looks like the Republicans will eventually get a razor-thin majority.

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