Arizona GOP gubernatorial primary is ‘going to get ugly before it gets positively hideous’: local columnist
Gage Skidmore.

The GOP primary for governor in Arizona is going off the rails as candidates attempt to out-do each other to be the Trumpiest candidate in the race.

On Thursday, Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts wrote that GOP candidate Kari Lake had been endorsed by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.

"It's probably the second most coveted endorsement a Republican could get in Arizona, given his unshaken (read: unhinged) belief that the 2020 election was rigged," Roberts explained, noting Lake had praised the conspiracy theorist who sought to overturn the election as a "great patriot."

"By Thursday morning, Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Salmon upped the ante. He announced he wants to audit not just the election in Maricopa County but the whole state, given the 'serious discrepancies' that will be unveiled on Friday by Sen. Karen Fann's ninja auditors," Roberts explained.

Salmon served in Congress and was the unsuccessful GOP nominee for governor in 2002, losing to Democrat Janet Napolitano.

"Me? I'm wondering what Karrin Taylor Robson will come up with to become relevant in the race," she said of another candidate Karrin Taylor Robson, who was appointed to the state's Board of Regents by Gov. Doug Ducey and is also running. Robson has been endorsed by former Govs. Jan Brewer and Fife Symington.

Roberts interviewed longtime Republican political consultant Chuck Coughlin about the battle to secure Donald Trump's endorsement.

"All the other candidates are trying to hug Trump as closely as possible," Coughlin said. "[Kari Lake] is actually imitating him. She's the outside, angry, no-political-record candidate slinging sledgehammers against the establishment."

"The Trump brand and anything to the right of it is the only brand that exists anymore in the Republican primary right now because nobody has given voice to anything else," Coughlin explained. "Like lemmings over the cliff. There is no independent thought here. It's following a third of the Republican primary voters over the cliff of irrelevancy."

Roberts warned her readers "It's going to be a loooong year."

"It's going to get ugly before it gets positively hideous as the Republicans stoop to show who is the Trumpiest of all while Democrats pass the popcorn," she explained.

Arizona Treasurer Kimberly Yee is also running in the GOP primary along with Steve Gaynor, who lost the 2018 campaign for Secretary of State to Democrat Katie Hobbs, who is running for the Democratic Party nomination for governor.