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Republican Arizona governor warns voters against Trump-backed gubernatorial candidate

‘Deceitful Kari Lake voters with no evidence,’ Ducey, who co-chairs the Republican Governors Association, told CNN’s Dana Bash on ‘State of the Union’ when asked about membership from Lake to Trump’s debunked claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

Lake became an early frontrunner in the Aug. 2 primary by embracing the once fringe extremism now common within the Republican Party, including promoting election lies, doubling down against mask and vaccine mandates, and calling for the imprisonment of Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is also a candidate for governor.

Ducey, who has a term limit and backed Republican candidate Karrin Taylor Robson to succeed him, slammed Lake on Sunday as he urged Arizona voters to make this election ‘about the future’ not the past . “I don’t think we should think for a moment more about 2020. This is the 2022 election cycle,” he said.

“We don’t know who will be the next Charlie Baker in Massachusetts, Larry Hogan in Maryland or Glenn Youngkin in Virginia,” Ducey said, referring to Republican governors who have won elections in Democratic-leaning states in recent years. . “So we will make those decisions based on how we can have success and results.”

Trump launched a public and sustained attack on Ducey shortly after the November 2020 election, which saw Trump lose Arizona to Joe Biden. Ducey defended his state’s election process, tweeting, “It’s the law. I’m sworn to abide by it and I take my responsibility seriously.”

Despite Trump’s anger, Ducey has remained a popular figure in Arizona among moderates and establishment Republicans, even as the former president maintains a strong grip on Arizona’s GOP base.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has spent months working aggressively to persuade Ducey to mount a Senate campaign, convinced he would be the strongest candidate to defeat Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, who is running for a full six-year term in November. But Ducey wrote in a letter to donors this spring that his “opinion has not changed” since January 2021, when he initially said he would not run for the Senate.

“Nowadays, if you want to run for public office, you have to really want the job,” Ducey said at the time. “Right now, I have the job I want, and my intention is to cap off my years of service in Arizona with a very productive final legislative session AND help elect Republican governors across the country in my role as President of the Republican Governors Association.”

CNN’s Kyung Lah contributed to this report.

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Post expires at 12:11am on Saturday July 23rd, 2022