Republican Kari Lake, who lost the 2022 race for Arizona governor but has repeatedly claimed without proof that she won, has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for the US Senate in Arizona.
Lake, a close ally of former President Donald Trump, is expected to officially announce her run at a rally on October 10, a source familiar with the plans previously told CNN.
She met with several GOP senators on Tuesday, a source familiar said, including Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, John Cornyn of Texas and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.
Lake’s entrance is expected to further scrambles a contest for the seat held by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, which could end up as a three-way general election. Sinema switched her party affiliation from Democratic to independent in December, and progressive Rep. Ruben Gallego entered the Democratic primary in January. Sinema has not yet publicly said whether she will run for reelection.
A former Arizona television journalist, Lake has built her political image – and her 2022 campaign for governor – around her support for Trump’s false claims about extensive election fraud in the 2020 presidential election. She has become a fixture in Trump’s orbit since losing her gubernatorial bid.
She has also claimed, without proof, that she won her election last fall against Democrat Katie Hobbs, the state’s current governor. Lake has lost a series of legal battles seeking to overturn the result of that election, which she lost by more than 17,000 votes.
Arizona had long been a Republican stronghold, but President Joe Biden narrowly carried the state in 2020, and Democrats have won the last three US Senate elections there. The state GOP is also reeling after losing key statewide races in November, including the offices of governor and secretary of state.
Election deniers like Lake who have parroted Trump’s election lies have largely taken command of the GOP in Arizona, with several Trump-aligned candidates defeating more establishment contenders in recent primaries before losing general elections. Republicans, though, still control most statewide executive offices and the state legislature.
Lake will not have the GOP Senate primary to herself. Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb, another promoter of Trump’s election lies, entered the Republican contest in April.
This story has been updated with additional information.