Senate Republicans’ campaign arm on Tuesday endorsed Kari Lake in Arizona, signaling the party’s embrace of a firebrand candidate in a state central to their efforts to regain a majority.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee’s endorsement, first reported by Politico, reflects Ms. Lake’s efforts to make nice with a Republican establishment that she blasted in her 2022 campaign for governor, and that has long had concerns about her electability.
“Kari Lake is one of the most talented candidates in the country,” the committee’s chairman, Senator Steve Daines of Montana, said in a statement. “Kari is building out an effective campaign operation that has what it takes to flip Arizona’s Senate seat in November.”
Ms. Lake is seeking the Republican nomination in what could be a three-way race for the seat currently held by Senator Kyrsten Sinema. Representative Ruben Gallego is the front-runner on the Democratic side, and Ms. Sinema, who left the Democratic Party in 2022 to be an independent, has not confirmed whether she will run for re-election.
Mark Lamb, a right-wing sheriff, is also running for the Republican nomination.
A protégé of former President Donald J. Trump, Ms. Lake followed Mr. Trump’s lead by refusing to concede her loss in the governor’s race during the midterm elections. She spent months unsuccessfully contesting the result in court, advancing conspiracy theories about voter fraud and disenfranchisement that were similar to Mr. Trump’s false claims about the 2020 election, which she also embraced. Mr. Trump endorsed her Senate campaign when she got into the race in October.
On Monday, she also received endorsements from Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida.
Democrats jumped on the National Republican Senatorial Committee endorsement even before Mr. Daines publicly confirmed it.
“Kari Lake is the poster child for Senate Republicans’ candidate quality problem and abysmal recruiting strategy,” Tommy Garcia, a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said in a statement. “An election loser despised by Arizona Republicans, Lake brings massive baggage and disqualifying flaws to the campaign. We’re thrilled with the N.R.S.C.’s choice.”
The chairman of the Arizona Republican Party resigned last month after the release of a recording of a conversation in which he pressured Ms. Lake to accept money or a job in exchange for not running. In resigning, he said he was concerned about “her limited appeal with moderates and independents, and her being a drag on the entire ticket.”
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