Arizona Democrat Ruben Gallego has mocked reports of Kari Lake considering running in 2024 for the state’s Senate seat held by former Democrat-turned-independent Kyrsten Synema.
The representative pointed out that the Republican politician would have to admit she has lost the gubernatorial race to run for senator.
“Arizona has a very strict resign to run law. It’s not possible for her to be Arizona’s shadow governor and a Senate candidate at the same time,” Gallego wrote on Twitter on Monday.
Arizona’s resign-to-run law, as mentioned by the Democratic congressman, prohibits elected officials not in the final year of their term from running for a position without vacating the current one first. “Except during the final year of the term being served, no incumbent of a salaried elective office, whether holding by election or appointment, may offer himself for nomination or election to any salaried local, state or federal office,” states the resign-to-run law.
Arizona is one of five states nationwide—including Florida, Georgia, Hawaii and Texas—to have such resign-to-run laws. The reason why this legislation exists is to prevent those in office from unfairly leveraging their position of power against other candidates while retaining their role as a fallback in case of defeat.
Gallego is said to be Sinema’s most likely Democrat challenger for the state’s Senate seat she has held since 2019. While Lake has not confirmed whether she’ll be running for the same seat, CNN reporter Kate Sullivan wrote on Twitter about being told that “Kari Lake is considering running for the US Senate seat held by Kyrsten Sinema in 2024.”
I’m told Kari Lake is considering running for the US Senate seat held by Kyrsten Sinema in 2024.
— Kate Sullivan (@KateSullivanDC) January 16, 2023
Fellow CNN reporter Kyung Lah later tweeted that sources told Sullivan that Lake “will not make a final decision on whether to run for Senate until after her court case is completed. Source said ‘lots of folks are reaching out’ to Lake about running.”
Lake has been legally challenging the result of the November gubernatorial election, despite losing to her Democratic rival Katie Hobbs by more than 17,000 votes. She has until now appeared determined to overturn the midterms’ result in the face of opposition.
In December last year, a Maricopa County judge threw out of court Lake’s case alleging problems with ballot printers at polling stations in the county on voting day, November 8, 2022. Lake then appealed to Arizona Appeals Court and is expected to have her case heard by judges on February 1.
The former television news anchor, who ran in the state’s gubernatorial race with Donald Trump‘s endorsement, has repeatedly said that election fraud have prevented her from winning the midterms race, though she has so far failed to provide any evidence supporting her claims.
Newsweek reached out to Lake’s team for comment.
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