Lake hits Gallego, Sinema over immigration in first TV ad for Arizona Senate race

Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake (R) launched her first campaign ad on Monday, hitting Democratic candidate Ruben Gallego and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) over immigration.

“Ten thousand illegals pour into the U.S. every single day. Crime, drug deaths, homelessness — it’s hurting every community,” Lake said in the 30-second ad.

“With President Trump, we had a secure border, but Joe Biden and his enablers, Kyrsten Sinema and Ruben Gallego, destroyed that security,” she continued. “When we take back the U.S. Senate, we can fix it. I’m Kari Lake, and I approve this message because my vision is to make Arizona safe, affordable and great again, and I’m asking your help to do it.”

Lake’s campaign said that the ad is set to air on broadcast and cable in Arizona during the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary. Lake’s campaign declined to say how much the ad buy was.

Lake is vying for Sinema’s seat against Gallego in Arizona. Sinema has not yet announced whether she intends to run for reelection.

Gallego’s campaign hit back at Lake’s ad in a statement, accusing her of using the issue of the U.S. southern border for “political gain.”

“While Kari Lake tries to use the border crisis for political gain instead of offering real solutions, Ruben Gallego has delivered more than $93 billion in border security funding to keep Arizonans safe and hire thousands of border patrol agents. While there is more work to be done, she has rhetoric, he has a record — they are not the same,” Gallego campaign spokeswoman Hannah Goss said in a statement to The Hill.

Both Sinema and Gallego have waded into the issue of immigration, with Sinema taking part in a small group of senators trying to negotiate a bipartisan border deal. Gallego has advocated for reforming how places that shelter migrants are compensated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Shelter and Services Program.

Polls have shown a tight race between Lake and Gallego, while Sinema has generally finished third. Sinema switched her party affiliation from Democrat to independent at the end of 2022.

The Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling released a poll last week showing Lake receiving 46 percent support and Gallego at 45 percent in a hypothetical match-up between the two, an effective tie that fell within the poll’s margin of error of 4 percentage points.

When factoring in Sinema, Gallego has 36 percent support, Lake has 35 percent Sinema has 17 percent.

A separate Public Policy Polling survey commissioned by Gallego’s campaign and released in October showed the Arizona Democrat leading Lake by 5 points in both a two-way match-up and three-way match-up with Lake and Sinema. A separate poll released in October by Republican firm National Research Inc. showed Lake at 37 percent and Gallego at 33 percent.

Gallego held a cash advantage over Lake during the last quarter of fundraising for 2023, raking in $3.3 million between October and December, while the former local news anchor received $2.1 million.

The nonpartisan election handicapper Cook Political Report rates Sinema’s seat as a “toss-up.”

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