Oct 17, 2022 - Politics

Arizona governor's race: Where Kari Lake stands on the issues

Kari Lake holds her fists up at her sides in a cheering pose

Kari Lake speaks Oct. 9 in Mesa. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

With early voting underway and the election just around the corner, Axios Phoenix is breaking down the biggest races on your ballot. We're starting the race that will largely determine the direction our state will take for the next four years: the race for governor.

Context: Republican Kari Lake spent 22 years as a news anchor at Fox 10. She left the station in 2021 and launched her campaign for governor shortly afterward.

Education: Lake advocates for expanded dual enrollment, in which students would get both high school and college credits for some courses, and more career and technical education opportunities.

  • She wants "100% backpack funding" for students, which would build on the recently passed expansion of the voucher-style Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program with "fractionalized" funding that would allow students to attend public schools while using the program for courses at other institutions.
  • She opposes what she deems "woke curriculum," such as "critical race theory."

Taxes and economy: Lake proposed barring cities from imposing sales taxes on groceries or taxes on rent payments.

  • The state doesn't currently tax those items, but some cities do, according to the Arizona Department of Revenue.
  • The average tax rate on groceries is 2.69% and the average rental tax is 2.78%, which costs Arizonans about $340 million per year, 12 News reported, citing figures from the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.

Border security: Lake has made border security one of the centerpieces of her campaign, and she wants to use state resources to aggressively fight illegal immigration and drug cartels along the border in an unprecedented way.

  • She says she'd declare an invasion at the border on her first day in office, using a controversial and untested legal theory that the state has the power to repel an invasion because the federal government has failed to do so.
  • However, Lake has said she would end Gov. Doug Ducey's program of busing asylum seekers who cross the border in the Yuma area to Washington, D.C.

Abortion: Lake's position on abortion has been fluid. She has praised the state's pre-Roe ban on nearly all abortions, though her campaign has said she supports exceptions for rape and incest.

Elections: Lake is a devoted adherent to the false claims that the 2020 election was rigged against Donald Trump, and she has advocated for restrictive new laws to address the nonexistent fraud.

  • She has supported an end to machine counting of ballots and mandating hand counts instead, which election officials say is unrealistic, prohibitively time-consuming and more error-prone.
  • Lake has refused to comment on whether she would support abolishing no-excuse early voting, but she has often disparaged the system, saying Arizona should have an election day, not an election month.

The other side: Where Democrat Katie Hobbs stands on the issues


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Phoenix.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Phoenix stories


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Phoenix.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more