Kari Lake, who narrowly lost the Arizona governor’s race in 2020, is now reportedly focusing her attention on a Senate seat in 2024.
Publicly, Lake says she is most immediately concerned with her ongoing election lawsuits.
However, aides say she is more seriously considering the race for the Senate seat currently held by independent Senator Kyrsten Sinema, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Sinema’s seat is an easy target for Republicans trying to take back the Senate, where Sinema was the first Democrat to win in 30 years (she switched her party to independent in 2021).
Lake was hand-picked by former President Donald Trump and continues to align herself with him, and pollsters believe she’ll be hard to beat in a Republican primary.
But her potential entry is causing some concern among Republicans who believe she’s too extreme to win a general election.
Stephen Shadegg, Arizona state director for Americans for Prosperity, said the group would back another candidate.
“We’re looking for a candidate who can win a general election and will take Arizona in a new direction offering solutions that reflect our shared vision of limited government, individual freedom and focus on the future—not the past,” he said.
According to an Associated Press poll, independent voters in Arizona preferred Democrats to Republicans by more than 30 points in the 2022 midterms.
Independents make up the second largest voting bloc in the state after Republicans, and the party will need to sway them to the right to take back the seat.
There is already a Democrat challenger in Representative Ruben Gallego, a US Marine combat veteran who has served in the US House since 2014.
In a poll from OH Predictive Insights, Gallego lead Sinema in four hypothetical matchups and also beat out four hypothetical head-to-head races with Republicans, including Lake.
Sinema has ultimately not yet announced whether or not she will seek reelection.