Kari Lake Might Have Lost Her Race—But She Isn’t Going Anywhere

Shortly after Republican Kari Lake’s November loss in Arizona’s gubernatorial election, speculation emerged about what she’d do next. Would she vie to become Donald Trump’s vice presidential pick? Would she run in Arizona’s 2024 Senate contest? Such questions have yet to be answered, but if one thing is clear, it’s that Lake has a little too much star power to burn out after just one loss.

Nearly three months after her defeat, which Lake still refuses to accept, the former news anchor has neither disappeared nor prepared for another campaign. Instead, she appears to be going through various stages of grief—denial and anger in particular—by replicating Trump’s post-2020 playbook: She’s launched a frivolous lawsuit; staged grievance-filled rallies; and even engaged in potentially criminal conduct to prove her election was “stolen.”

On Thursday, however, Lake took what could be a pivotal step toward acceptance. According to Politico, the Arizona firebrand participated in an hour-long meeting with the National Republican Senatorial Committee regarding her political future and Arizona’s upcoming Senate race. The meeting—which was centered on “listening,” as a Lake spokesperson told Politico—was reportedly held just over a week after Lake tweeted a graphic featuring a number of images of voter signatures, which she exhibited as “bombshell” evidence that nearly 40,000 ballots were illegally counted. Because the unauthorized release of such signatures could constitute a felony offense in Arizona, the state’s secretary of state has since referred the matter to the state’s attorney general for potential prosecution.

Still, Lake’s reckless obsession with her loss has only increased her celebrity on the right. She has raised roughly $2.5 million since November, per The Washington Post, and hundreds of supporters packed a Sunday rally she hosted that also featured a call-in appearance from Trump. She also visited Washington this week to attend the National Prayer Breakfast with Representative Paul Gosar and meet with Senator Marsha Blackburn. Next week she will travel to Iowa—ground zero for most White House aspirants—to meet with a Republican women’s group.

Meanwhile, despite her loss, Lake continues to spew invective at her political enemies, calling Arizona’s actual head of state a “squatter” who shouldn’t “get too comfortable.” On the same day as her NRSC meeting, Lake even declared herself “the duly elected governor” of Arizona.

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