Failed anti-LGBTQ+ gov. candidate Kari Lake may have violated campaign law

Kari Lake
Kari Lake Photo: Shutterstock

Arizona’s top election official has asked for failed anti-LGBTQ+ gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake (R) to be investigated over a potential campaign violation.

In a Monday letter, Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes (D) asked state Attorney General Kris Mayes (D) to investigate whether Lake broke state laws for a social media post baselessly claiming that election fraud “stole” the 2022 governor’s race from her. Lake’s political mentor, President Donald Trump (R), made similar claims after he lost the 2020 presidential election.

Specifically, Fontes said that Lake violated a state law forbidding voters’ signatures from being “accessible or reproduced by any person other than the voter,” NBC News reported.

For evidence, Fontes pointed to Lake’s January 23 tweet which contained an image purporting to show 16 voters’ ballot signatures that seemed to differ from the signature on each one’s voter registration form. Lake’s tweet claimed there were over 38,900 ballots counted in the last election that had mismatching signatures. These ballots were still officially counted in the election results, Lake claimed.

Lake lost her 2022 election to Arizona’s then-Secretary of State Katie Hobbs by over 17,000 votes. The Arizona Supreme Court threw out Lake’s legal challenge of the election’s results last week. Nonetheless, she continues holding “Save Arizona” rallies at which she claims she won. At the most recent rally, Trump called in to say that Lake will be victorious in proving she’s the state’s duly elected governor.

At her most recent rally, Lake’s representatives reportedly allowed Ethan Schmidt — a right-wing extremist who said he’d be “hunting” LGBTQ+ allies around Phoenix, Arizona during Pride month 2022 — to enter the rally. Schmidt was later removed by the venue’s management.

During her campaign, Lake attacked drag queens, writing on social media: “They kicked God out of schools and welcomed the Drag Queens. They took down our Flag and replaced it with a rainbow. They seek to disarm Americans and militarize our Enemies. Let’s bring back the basics: God, Guns & Glory.”

Richard Stevens – who performs locally in drag as Barbra Seville – took issue with that, calling Lake a “complete hypocrite.” She said Lake was a regular in the Phoenix drag scene and even hired Seville to perform at a baby shower.

During her campaign, Lake also aired an ad starring fundamentalist Desert Bible Church pastor Justin Erickson, a man who said that the LGBTQ+ community is filled with STD-ridden child molesters.

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