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2022 Elections: Kari Lake, Karrin Taylor Robson in tight race for GOP governor nomination

Vote counting continued on Aug. 3 in the close race to determine the Republican nominee for governor in Arizona, with former television news anchor Kari Lake narrowly leading lawyer Karrin Taylor Robson.

On the night of Aug. 2, the first few drops of election numbers were predominantly early voting totals, and showed her competitor, Karrin Taylor Robson in the lead.

Just after midnight, Lake pulled ahead of Robson, as votes from Maricopa and Pima Counties began rolled in.

The winner of GOP's gubernatorial primary will advance to the November general election to take on Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. Hobbs defeated Marco Lopez, a former mayor of Nogales and border enforcement official during Obama’s administration, in Tuesday’s primary.

Lake appears to declare victory; no race projections have been made

On Aug. 3, Lake held a news conference to talk about the unofficial results.

"We know what the outcome of this is: we the people won. We won," said Lake.

A projection on the GOP primary for Arizona governor has not been made, as of Aug. 3. Meanwhile, thousands of votes are still trickling in.

"We are so ecstatic today that all of our hard work paid off," said Lake. "We have been working for over a year to take back politics in Arizona."

Lake had been pushing her supporters to vote in-person on Election Day, instead of voting by mail. During her speech, Lake touched on the election results.

"We will look at these numbers, and they assure me that our lead is only going to grow and grow," said Lake.

Lake also said she is not satisfied with how the election was run, citing issues in Pinal County. She also thanked everyone for their support, while prisingTaylor Robson and Matt Salmon, and prematurely welcomed them to join her campaign.

"I want to bring the Republican Party together. I mentioned that earlier. We are one big, happy, sometimes dysfunctional family, but we can come together. As I said, I am from a big family, and so, I understand that you don’t always get along on every issue, but I want to bring people together," said Lake.

No public appearance for Taylor Robson on Aug. 3, campaign officials say

Robson, meanwhile, remained quiet on Aug. 3. Officials with her campaign said she will not be making a public appearance on Aug. 3, but that they will be watching for additional results, and possibly make a statement when those come in.

On the night of Aug. 2, Robson, who at the time was in the lead, addressed her supporters.

"We’re way ahead, and with the latest data dump, we continue to maintain a solid lead, thanks to the support of Arizonans just like you. You have entrusted me with the most powerful possession that exists in a constitutional republic: your vote," said Robson.

As the vote counting continues, political analyst Chuck Coughlin talked about what kind of impact, or lack thereof, the decision for Robson to stay silent on Aug. 3 has, going forward.

"The verdict has been rendered. People have voted. There’s nothing that is going to help them to say anything today until tonight, when that rest of that drop happens, and they will make a statement," said Coughlin.

Trump-endorsed candidates ahead in various Arizona races

The GOP gubernatorial primary is seen as a barometer of Donald Trump’s enduring influence after establishment Republicans came out in force behind Robson. Lake is closely aligned with the former president, who could gain allies with influence over how elections are run as he considers a 2024 White House campaign.

Trump endorsed and campaigned for a group of candidates, including Lake. Other candidates Trump endorsed in Arizona include Mark Finchem, who is projected to win the GOP primary for Secretary of State. Trump-backed candidates for attorney general and legislative races also were leading.

Arizona, a longtime Republican stronghold, has become more favorable to Democrats in recent years because of explosive growth in and around Phoenix. The primary and the fall election will provide insight into whether President Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 Presidential Election was a one-time event, or the onset of a long-term shift away from the GOP in the state.