Oct 20, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Youngkin leads Arizona rally for election denier Kari Lake


Photo Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin spent Wednesday sharing a stage with Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.

Why it matters: Lake is a 2020 election denier who refuses to say if she will accept the results in her own race if she loses.

  • And Youngkin is one of a handful of potential GOP presidential hopefuls to personally distance themselves from Trump's lies about the election while actively campaigning for candidates who promote them.

What they're saying: At their first campaign stop together, Youngkin called Lake "awesome," praised Arizona's rejection of daylight saving time and called Democrats "agents of chaos" who ruin everything they touch.

Meanwhile, Lake praised Youngkin as "a total rockstar."

🤨 When an attendee shouted, "Youngkin-Lake in '24" from the back of the room, Youngkin paused, raised an eyebrow, then pointed back at Lake and said, "That's your call," per NBC News correspondent Vaughn Hillyard.

Ahead of the trip, Youngkin framed his support for Lake as a matter of supporting his party.

  • "I am comfortable supporting Republican candidates," Youngkin said during an interview in Austin late last month. "And we don't agree on everything. I mean, I have said that I firmly believe that Joe Biden was elected president."

Zoom out: Youngkin's approach puts him on similar footing as Mike Pence and Nikki Haley, who have also rejected Trump's election claims but are now campaigning for candidates who promote them.

How it's going: Youngkin's PAC has raised $5.8 million since he took office, which is more than double the amount raised by any other recent Virginia governor at this point in their term, per the Washington Post.

  • The Post notes Youngkin is also spending heavily, enlisting nearly a dozen consulting firms.
  • That's a break from past governors, who have typically relied on one or two staffers to run a barebones political operation focused on General Assembly races.
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