Below, we compile quotes from campaigns’ ads, websites, social media posts, and statements reported in the media that illustrate endorsement or opposition to election denial — claims that the process or result of the last presidential election was illegitimate. Each of the candidates is running for an office that will play a role in administering future elections in Arizona. Information about the financing of these campaigns and those in other battleground states can be found here.
Arizona: Election Denial in Races for Election Administration Positions
A collection of examples illustrates the prevalence of election denial in 2022 contests for the offices that will run the next elections in Arizona.
Steve Gaynor (withdrew)
Business owner Steve Gaynor (R) appeared at a Trump rally in the summer of 2021 where election denial was raised by several speakers. Gaynor said, “This has to be fixed. This can’t happen again — there are a million Republicans in our state who believe the election was rigged.” His campaign ran a Facebook ad in support of Arizona legislators’ partisan audit.
Katie Hobbs (won primary)
As the current Arizona secretary of state, gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs (D) has defended the way the 2020 election was conducted. In January, she tweeted that Trump “spewed lies about the 2020 election and encouraged the ongoing and dangerous attacks on our democracy," predicting that her opponent, Kari Lake, “will reject the will of the people in future elections.” In an email to supporters, the Hobbs campaign describes her opposition to “sham audits," “misinformation,” and “anti-democratic extremism” and warns that “proponents of the Big Lie are running to oversee election results in statewide and local offices.”
Kari Lake (won primary)
Former TV news anchor Kari Lake (R) has repeatedly claimed the 2020 election was stolen and has sued to ban the voting machines the state uses, alleging they are unreliable. Lake has said she would not have certified the 2020 result. In an interview featured on her campaign website, Lake said the sham ballot review in Arizona revealed evidence of fraudulent votes, concluding, “Joe Biden did not win.” She has said the leading Democratic candidate, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, should be imprisoned for how she ran the 2020 election. A campaign TV ad has Lake talking about the “rigged election of 2020” over darkened footage of people using ballot drop boxes, taken from an election fraud conspiracy documentary by conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza. In July 2022, Lake preemptively cast doubt on the outcome of the upcoming Arizona primary, telling supporters that her top opponent “might be trying to set the stage for another steal.” At a campaign stop less than two weeks before the primary, Lake claimed multiple times that fraud was taking place in this year’s election, saying she was already “detecting some stealing going on.”