Kari Lake says her focus remains on her fight to become governor of Arizona, and not on running for vice president in 2024.
The Republican candidate came just shy of winning her contest against Democrat Katie Hobbs last fall and has gone to the Arizona Supreme Court in her battle to have election results from Maricopa County declared invalid due to misconduct.
Lake has been talked about as a potential running mate to former President Donald Trump, who is seeking the Republican nomination for president in 2024. She won a straw poll at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference and was on one news site’s list of four women Trump might pick if he wins the GOP primaries.
But Lake said despite her strong commitment to supporting Trump, her focus is on Arizona.
“I am 100 percent dedicated to serving as Arizona Governor. I will also work to make sure President Trump gets back in the White House ASAP,” she said in a statement to the U.K.’s Daily Mail, the outlet reported Tuesday.
“Anything outside of those two goals is nothing but a distraction,” Lake said.
Lake said that changing America’s direction needs to not only happen in Washington.
“Our best days are ahead of us and it all starts with electing America-First candidates all across this country,” she said.
We were so honored to have some of the strongest leaders in our movement, including @KariLake, speak at CPAC this year!
WATCH Kari’s full Day 3 speech here https://t.co/UqXESLtpFC
— CPAC (@CPAC) March 8, 2023
Her campaign account addressed the running mate question with a touch of humor after the CPAC straw poll.
“We’re flattered, but unfortunately our legal team says the Constitution won’t allow for her to serve as Governor and VP at the same time,” Kari Lake War Room tweeted Saturday.
We’re flattered, but unfortunately our legal team says the Constitution won’t allow for her to serve as Governor and VP at the same time. pic.twitter.com/gFV3z3wtxB
— Kari Lake War Room (@KariLakeWarRoom) March 4, 2023
Axios reported Tuesday that Trump viewed Lake “as a model for his vice presidential pick,” should he receive the nomination.
The site also listed former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem as possible running mates.
Haley, who is a contender for the GOP 2024 nomination, served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Trump administration, and Sanders was Trump’s White House press secretary.
Trump spokesman Steven Cheung dismissed the report, telling Axios, “Anyone who thinks they know what President Trump is going to do is seriously misinformed and trying to curry favor with ‘potential’ V.P. candidates.”
A speculative report by NPR on Wednesday suggested Noem might be a potential presidential candidate but added that a vice presidential role was more likely if she chooses to move her political career to the national stage.
“I’m focused on doing my job here in South Dakota,” Noem said earlier this year when Fox News asked her about a 2024 campaign for president.
“I’m focused here, but I’m going to continue telling South Dakota’s stories,” she said.
The speculation about 2024 comes amid jostling between Haley and potential presidential candidate and former Trump administration Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the 2020 race.
As noted by the Washington Examiner, Pompeo’s new book — “Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love” — claims Haley was hoping to be Trump’s running mate in 2020. Haley has rejected that claim.
“First of all, Pompeo wrote about something he heard from someone else. Can we just start there?” Haley said Tuesday on the “Ruthless” podcast.
“The second thing I’ll tell you is, look, I was a damn good U.N. ambassador, and every secretary of state hated it.”
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