Arizona 2022 GOP gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake said she was offered a lot of money and a position on a corporate board if she would agree not to run for office in 2024.
Lake has been weighing a run for U.S. Senate next year, if her court challenge of Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs’ win in last November’s election does not go her way.
“A couple months ago I had a call from a very powerful person in Arizona and said I have to come over and talk to you in person. This can’t be done on the phone,” Lake told radio talk show host Eric Metaxas on Tuesday, while promoting her new book, “Unafraid: Just Getting Started.”
She related that the man showed up at her door and offered her “a prestigious job title, a large salary and a position on a board if I will just promise to not run in this next election ‘24.”
Lake responded, “Really, are you serious? I walked away from a prestigious job. I walked away from money. I’m not motivated by that.”
In March 2021, the Iowa native left a high-paying job as an evening news anchor on the Fox affiliate in Phoenix and a few months later announced her candidacy for governor.
Lake told Metaxas that after she was able to get the man out of her house he then made an open-ended offer.
“He said, ‘How much would it take? What would it take? Just for two years,’” she recalled.
Recently, a very powerful person tried to bribe me out of politics.
They wanted me on the bench for two years.
And I thought to myself, “If they want me gone this badly. I might just stick around for a while.”
I’m Just Getting Started. pic.twitter.com/CFVjju3AoF
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) June 29, 2023
“They don’t want me on the ballot. They don’t want Trump on the ballot because they know, ‘We the people’ will show up and vote in droves,” Lake said.
“And they know that if they pull another rigged election,” she continued. “First of all, it’s going to be a lot harder because we know every which way that they are cheating, and I think they know they can’t pull another one like that.”
Lake shared that receiving such an offer not to run makes her think that she needs to stay in politics despite how dirty it is.
“I haven’t decided what I’m going to do next. There is a Senate seat that’s going to be up for grabs this go-around,” she explained.
The seat is currently held by Democrat recently turned independent Kyrsten Sinema, who caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate.
As of December when she switched to independent, Sinema had voted with President Joe Biden 93 percent of the time, but that had left her open to a Democratic primary challenge from Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona.
Sinema earned Democrats’ ire by not being willing to kill the Senate filibuster rule to pass federal voting rights legislation and not backing Biden’s over $2.4 trillion Build Back Better legislation in the fall of ’21.
She later voted for the scaled-down version of the legislation, named the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022.
The Wall Street Journal reported in April that Sinema is preparing to run for re-election as an independent, which would make for an unpredictable three-way contest featuring her, the presumptive Democratic nominee Gallego, and whoever prevails in the Republican primary.
The Arizona Republic columnist Phil Boas wrote earlier this month, by all appearances, Sinema is running.
It was incredible to join @ericmetaxas in studio to discuss my NEW book, Unafraid!
I can’t wait for you all to read it!
WATCH OUR CONVERSATION HERE: https://t.co/74v7AXnyx4
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) June 28, 2023
Polling for a potential three-way race is scarce, but one poll by OH Predictive Insights conducted in late January and early February with 1,000 registered voters showed Gallego ahead of Lake by single digits and Sinema by double digits.
A poll released in April found Lake the heavy favorite to win the GOP primary in the Senate race with 38 percent support, followed by former 2022 gubernatorial candidate and developer Karrin Taylor Robson at 10 percent, Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb at 8 percent, and 2022 Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters at 7 percent.
The J. L. Partners poll was conducted between April 10 to April 12 with 550 registered Republicans and undeclared voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.
Lake concluded, “The fact that they came to my door and said, ‘What is it going to take to have you put your movement on ice?’ tells me we need to keep our movement going.”