hobbs lake arizona
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, whose office handled the infamous 2020 presidential election, beat Republican political newcomer Kari Lake on Monday night to become Arizona's next governor.

The race was called by multiple news outlets, including the Associated Press, on Monday, nearly a week after Election Day and following the release of some results from Maricopa County, the state's most populous county that includes Phoenix.

"Democracy is worth the wait. Thank you, Arizona. I am so honored and so proud to be your next Governor," Hobbs said in a tweet after the race was called.

Lake, who described herself to the Washington Examiner as "Donald Trump with softer edges," tried to paint Hobbs as an out-of-touch, absentee elected official, while Hobbs worked to convince voters that Lake lacked the basic knowledge it took to run for office and embraced dangerous far-right ideas.

Lake did not concede the race Monday evening, instead tweeting: "Arizonans know BS when they see it."

Lake burst into the national spotlight last year as one of the loudest election deniers vying for public office. Her wildly bombastic claims made her a media sensation, but for all of the wrong reasons. She was spoofed on SNL, lambasted on late-night talk shows, and labeled incompetent by longtime state and national Republicans, including former Vice President Mike Pence and outgoing Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, who has referred to her as "Fake Lake."

Lake told the Washington Examiner in an interview she couldn't care less whom Pence or Ducey endorsed and that she wore their disapproval like a badge of honor.

"There was a little part of me that was like, 'Oh, I hope Gov. Ducey doesn't try to punk me and endorse me,'" she said. "He's not liked. He's [one of] the least liked Republican governors in the country."

Lake ran a full Trumpist campaign, saying she wouldn't have certified President Joe Biden's 2020 Arizona win due to questions of widespread fraud — assertions for which there's no evidence or proof. Lake, a local news anchor for 22 years, had previously supported former President Barack Obama. She also donated to John Kerry's 2004 presidential bid when he was the Democratic nominee. And she partied with drag queens before turning on them and becoming one of Trump's loudest cheerleaders, denouncing Democrats and liberal policies.

Lake routinely picked fights with the same press she was part of for two decades, claiming they peddled fake news and only wanted to sensationalize stories that made her look bad. Lake has been portrayed as a cartoonish try-hard who has tethered her political ambitions to Trump's popularity in the state. She said a win for her would be Trump's legacy in Arizona.

Comment: Indeed she did call out the media's coverage of the AZ race, more than once. As a former member of the press, she knows how the game is played. This press conference is a sample

Giant posters of her and the former president grinning side by side have been plastered on almost every corner in Scottsdale for months, though there are several that have been desecrated and feature parts of a man's anatomy drawn over them.

Multiple political analysts predicted that Lake would fall short in the general election because she did not tailor her message to more centrist voters. Instead, they claimed, her comments were carefully crafted to appeal to far-right conspiracy theorists and failed to move the state forward.

Lake's campaign picked up momentum after Hobbs refused to debate her. Hobbs claimed Lake would make a mockery of the debate and it would only further make Arizona look weak in the nation's eyes.

"We will not engage in a circus that insults and embarrasses Arizonans," Hobbs spokesman Joe Wolf said in a statement. "We do not need to look further than the last debate Kari Lake participated in for such an example."

In the final weeks leading up to Tuesday's election, Lake embarked on a multi-city "Ask Me Anything" tour, while Hobbs was hounded by Republicans for skipping out on the debate as well as other opportunities for constituents and the media to press her on her positions.

Last month, Hobbs was approached by a member of the right-leaning group Project Veritas while she was eating alone at a restaurant. As she tried to get away, she ended up spilling her drink and running to the bathroom. A few weeks later, journalists who were covering an interview Hobbs did with a Phoenix public television station tweeted that she slipped out of the building and avoided their questions.

Lake immediately pounced on Hobbs's media missteps. Lake appeared with an empty chair onstage to represent Hobbs. Her campaign also dressed a man in a yellow chicken suit who danced around onstage. Two of Lake's supporters showed up at a GOP rally dressed in "Where's Waldo?" costumes.

Hobbs pushed back on claims she hid from the media, stating that she has done 23 interviews in October with not only left-leaning outlets but also one with a conservative radio host. Hobbs also showed up at a local pride parade as well as a women's march.