The Senate Republicans’ campaign arm is formally endorsing Kari Lake in the Arizona Senate race, putting an end to speculation over whether GOP leadership in the upper chamber would get behind the Republican front-runner.
“Kari Lake is one of the most talented candidates in the country. Kari is building out an effective campaign operation that has what it takes to flip Arizona’s Senate seat in November,” Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). “I’m proud to endorse Kari Lake for United States Senate.”
News of the NRSC’s expected endorsement was first reported by Politico and offers Lake a critical boost as she works to consolidate Republican support in Washington, D.C., and Arizona.
Although Daines has previously praised Lake, the committee had stopped short of offering their endorsement. But with the Senate GOP group officially going all in for her, Republicans in Washington are signaling that they see Arizona and their likely GOP nominee, Lake, as winnable.
Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.), the No. 3 Senate Republican, is expected to stump for Lake in the Grand Canyon State on Feb. 29, the source familiar confirmed, while Daines and Barrasso are set to attend a March 6 fundraiser for her in Washington. Politico was the first to report on the fundraiser, and Fox News first reported on Barrasso’s Arizona campaigning.
Senate Democrats mocked the NRSC’s endorsement in a statement.
“Kari Lake is the poster child for Senate Republicans’ candidate quality problem and abysmal recruiting strategy,” said Tommy Garcia, spokesperson for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC).
“An election loser despised by Arizona Republicans, Lake brings massive baggage and disqualifying flaws to the campaign,” Garcia continued. “We’re thrilled with the NRSC’s choice. Lake is the perfect candidate — to lose the race.”
Lake is battling Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) for Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s (I-Ariz.) seat, though Sinema has not yet announced her reelection plans. Polls show a tight matchup between Gallego and Lake, with Sinema largely coming in third.
The nonpartisan election handicapper Cook Political Report rates Sinema’s seat as a “toss-up.”