Kari Lake, the firebrand Republican U.S. Senate candidate from Arizona, got a critical boost for her campaign on Monday with an endorsement from one of the body’s top conservatives.
Lake announced that she received the nod from Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), an ally of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and one of the most influential conservative voices in Washington. If elected, she would replace Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), a Democrat-turned-independent.
“Kari Lake is the fighter Arizona needs to secure the border, unleash American Energy Independence, and lower the cost of living. Joe Biden’s policies have been a disaster for Arizona and Kari Lake will stand up to the Biden agenda and put Arizonans first. Let’s send Kari to the Senate and take back the majority,” Cotton said in a statement to Fox News.
“I am grateful for the endorsement of Sen. Cotton, someone who served our country honorably in the military and has been a conservative warrior in the Senate. I look forward to working with Sen. Cotton to secure our border and get America back on track from Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer’s far-left agenda,” Lake told Fox.
The race is expected to unfold as one of the most closely contested in a cycle where Republicans have the winds at their backs, challenging Democrats in a number of competitive states that could flip the upper chamber into their column. Sen. Sinema narrowly won her first election in 2018 against former Sen. Martha McSally, edging the incumbent out by just over two percent while getting less than 50 percent of the overall vote.
In addition to Cotton’s support, Lake has previously earned the backing of Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) and House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY). However, her most important endorsement of all is former President Donald Trump who endorsed her shortly after her October launch and is said to be considering him for a spot on his ticket next year. Should Lake begin to pull ahead in the race, President Trump may ultimately decide to let her contest the seat if he believes the outcome would tip the Senate into Republicans’ hands.
To get to the general election, where she is expected to face Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Lake must first beat a nominal Republican challenger in Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb. Judging by the national headlines she has been able to grab by fighting with her likely Democratic opponent, trashing former President Obama on his neutrality toward Israel, and mocking the field of GOP rivals running against President Trump. She has also traveled the country offering her own endorsements, a sign that she is counting on favors to be returned to her either in her own race or in the Senate should she win.