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Trump-backed Arizona GOP governor hopeful Kari Lake wins primary, NBC projects

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Republican candidate for governor Kari Lake speaks at a ‘Save America’ rally by former President Donald Trump in support of Arizona GOP candidates on July 22, 2022 in Prescott Valley, Arizona.

Mario Tama | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Former local news anchor Kari Lake will win Arizona’s Republican gubernatorial primary, NBC News projects, notching one other win for the pool of candidates endorsed by ex-President Donald Trump.

Lake will advance to the final election, where she is going to face off against Democrat Katie Hobbs, currently Arizona’s secretary of state.

The race to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Doug Ducey has gained national attention as Lake, a Trump loyalist who has repeatedly spread false claims that President Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory was stolen, emerged within the polls because the GOP’s frontrunner.

The gubernatorial primary mirrors a larger power struggle inside the Republican Party between purportedly more traditional conservatives and adherents of Trump’s brand of hard-right populism. Those two factions have often diverged on the query of the 2020 election, which Trump still falsely maintains was rigged against him through widespread voter fraud.

Trump had castigated Ducey after the governor certified Arizona’s 11 electoral votes for Biden. The Grand Canyon State was certainly one of several key swing states critical to Biden’s win over Trump in 2020.

Ducey had endorsed one other Republican primary candidate, Karrin Taylor Robson, for the governor’s seat. Vice President Mike Pence, reviled by Trump and his allies because he refused to throw out key states’ electoral votes for president on Jan. 6, 2021, has also endorsed Robson.

Lake led Robson in most up-to-date polls of the race, in keeping with surveys compiled by RealClearPolitics. But Democrats reportedly sought to tarnish Robson’s candidacy in an apparent bet that Lake, like other Republicans candidates perceived as extremists, will stand less of a likelihood in the final.

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