'Nightmare candidate' Kari Lake has Republicans in a bind: columnist
Kari lake (Photo by Gage Skidmore on Flickr)

The lack of a deep bench of possible U.S. Senate contenders may saddle the Arizona Republican Party with failed gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake as its only hope for the seat now held by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ).

According to AzCentral columnist Laurie Roberts, that can't make the GOP leadership in the state -- to say nothing of the Senate Republican leadership – happy as they try to reclaim control of one of the chambers of Congress.

As it stands now there could be a three-way race between a Democrat, a Republican and Sinema should she choose to run for re-election.

Under normal circumstances that would be good news for Republicans in conservative Arizona, but Lake – supported by her rabid base – might make it hard for the party to win.

According to Roberts, the conspiracy-minded Lake represents a "nightmare candidate" for the GOP as she travels down the election fraud path pioneered by Donald Trump who has seen his support plummet by living in the past.

As Roberts wrote, "It is the stuff of Republican Party nightmares. For the part of the Republican Party that’s sick of losing, that is," adding, "... there is Kari Lake, potentially poised to torpedo the Arizona Republican Party’s chance of reclaiming a Senate seat in 2024."

"Whether it’s a two-way or a three-way Senate race next year, the possibility of Lake running has mainstream Republicans searching for a knight in shining armor, the new 'it' candidate who can wipe away the tarnish of 2018 and 2020 and especially the catastrophic 2022 campaign that saw Republicans swept out of office," she added and bolstered her opinion with comments from longtime GOP strategist Chris Baker" who said that Lake presents a major problem for a party that needs votes from independents and swing voters.

“With Kari Lake, I give her credit, she was able to expand her base beyond the traditional MAGA Republicans,” he admitted. “I think she will find it very hard to do it again. She was given the chance to be the standard bearer of the Republican Party in 2022 and she lost. I think that will weigh heavily on the minds of people who voted for her in 2022.”

Republican consultant Barrett Marson stated that association with Donald Trump casts a cloud over any candidate who is viewed as being too close to him.

“Many of the people looking at the Senate race are either MAGA or MAGA adjacent,” Marson stated. “Arizona is a conservative state but it is not a Trump state. If Republicans want to win this seat, they will have to put up somebody who can appeal to suburban women, to moderate Republicans, to right-leaning and center independents. All things that Kari Lake nor Donald Trump could not do.”

Roberts then reported, "Some Republican politicos tell me they’re hoping a surprise candidate will pop out of some unlikely corner, though it sounds more like wishful thinking than an actual prediction."

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