Kari Lake releases 2021 fundraising total, falling far behind another GOP rival

Photo: Jeremy Duda

By Stacey Barchenger | Arizona Republic

Kari Lake, the former television news anchor turned frontrunner for the Republican nomination to replace Gov. Doug Ducey, said Wednesday she had raised over $1.4 million for her campaign in 2021.

Lake’s campaign spokesman Ross Trumble said 84% of the more than 9,000 donors were from Arizona and that Lake had not loaned any money to her own campaign. He did not respond to a question about how much money Lake had on hand to spend.

“We have built a grassroots fundraising machine from scratch, despite the establishment pulling out all the stops to slow us down,” Lake said in a statement. “The people of Arizona are clearly looking for new leadership in our great state. My frontrunner status, along with the thousands of brand new donors is making the establishment very nervous.”

It’s not clear how much Lake, the Donald Trump-endorsed candidate, brought in during a November fundraiser with the former president at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, or since receiving his blessing. Lake’s campaign has followed Trump’s bombastic, election-results denying style, and she is scheduled to speak at his rally in Florence on Saturday.

Lake, a first-time candidate for office, said Wednesday her campaign was “just getting started.”

The sum surpasses what Ducey raised during a similar time period in his first bid for the Governor’s Office, roughly $1 million, and offers another indicator that Arizona’s elections this year are on track to draw unprecedented amounts of cash. 

But it also is significantly less than what at least one of Lake’s opponents for the GOP nomination has raised, and far short of what the Democratic frontrunner has banked when looking at money coming in during 2021.

Why does fundraising matter now?

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