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Arizona’s Kari Lake Committed to Ensuring Americans Thrive

The Republican nominee for the 2022 Arizona gubernatorial race, Kari Lake, says she decided to run for political office because she realized that all of the success she has had in her three-decades-long TV career would not mean much if the United States and the freedoms we enjoy are taken away by the radical left.

“I will run through every last penny that I have to save this country,” Lake told EpochTV’s American Thought Leaders in a recent interview.

Having spent almost 27 years reporting Arizona news and 22 years as a lead TV anchor, Lake compared the level of news bias during the COVID-19 lockdowns to propaganda and said it caused her to take a long, hard look at her career and her faith.

Choosing Principles

Although it was “scary” to walk away from a lucrative career, she ultimately chose to live by her principles. “I just said, ‘God, I know this is the right thing to do. Please, I’m going to do this, I need you to have my back,’” Lake said.

Some families were forced to comply with the government’s vaccine mandates in order to keep their jobs and support their families and “obviously, that’s a stressful, difficult choice to make,” Lake said.

“But others said, I’m walking away, I just had somebody reach out who said, ‘I went through three jobs during all of that. I have not been making as much money as I used to make, but you know what, I’ve got my principles intact.”

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Lake said her husband helped her weigh the financial cost of leaving with the ethical cost of not leaving her job. “And he said, I can’t expect you to do a job that you believe is immoral, that it goes against who you are. That would be the worst thing.”

After making the decision to leave the news business, Lake published a video to tell her viewers her reasons.

“I put that out to let them know, and what I didn’t expect was it would go viral within a matter of hours,” she said. People understood, saying they noticed a change in the news too and many asked her to run for political office.

(Screenshot from EpochTV)

The Swamp

Initially, Lake’s plan was to take a position with an organization that did media training, to work “behind the scene.” But more and more people kept asking her to go into politics.

“One of the common threads that … like a steady drumbeat, was would you please consider running for office, we need people in politics who we trust to understand the issues of our state, who understands us,” she said.

At first, she just laughed at the thought of running for political office.

“I’m thinking, are you kidding me? I’m just leaving the corrupt world of media, and they’re suggesting I go into the even more corrupt world, the swamp of politics. They must think I’m insane, and I had zero interest in it.”

Problem of Propaganda

The government’s handling of the pandemic and the media’s biased reporting became clear to Lake during the lockdowns, and she could no longer follow the one-sided, top-down approach to the news anymore.

The views presented by media outlets have always been dominated by liberals, with diversity only needed for the color of your skin but not the diversity of thought, she said. This all became all too glaring during the lockdowns.

“Any little bit of information that could have helped people get back to life as normal, that could have helped people with their health, was being censored,” she said. “This was censoring, when it was coming to the life or death of your business, to the life or death of our children’s education.”

She did not want to be a part of these unethical practices.

“It’s not just unbalanced and biased. It is truly immoral, what was happening in journalism during COVID,” Lake said.

During this time, another red flag for Lake was seeing the attacks on conservative President Donald Trump for suggesting alternative treatments for COVID infections. Her intuition told her something was not right, she said.

“And there was just a complete shutdown and censorship of anybody who wanted to at least dig into and explore these treatments that might save lives.”

Discussion of HCQ has fallen under a censorship umbrella that captured several other treatments known to help boost the immune system and lessen other viral infections.(Stock Footage Inc/Shutterstock)

Leaning on Faith

During this time, Lake leaned into her Christian faith—a foundation created from a time when she and her eight siblings went to church each Sunday.

During the lockdowns, her regular church was shuttered so she found a church that was holding in-person services because she wanted help making decisions about leaving her career, Lake said.

“I remember thinking we need to get our butts into a church right now. I just felt that need, and I ended up stumbling into a different church and that church really opened my eyes and changed my life,” Lake said. “It was really a very powerful period for me spiritually during COVID, and I don’t think I’m alone.”

She has seen many, including herself, embrace God during the pandemic.

She finally decided to run for governor in her home state.

The Dire State of the Nation

Goliad County Sheriff Roy Boyd checks a site used by cartels to smuggle illegal immigrants through Goliad County, Texas, on Nov. 23, 2021. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

Lake worries that drugs like Fentanyl are pouring across the southern border and killing hundreds of working-age people each day.

“Our border with our country right now is in the operational control of Narco-terrorists: the cartels,” Lake said.

Almost 5 million illegal immigrants have come across the southern border since Biden took office, Lake said. “Right now, it appears that Joe Biden is on the side of the cartels, and the people of Arizona have had enough. We don’t have a country, if we don’t have a border.”

But the government that has been going above and beyond to save lives in the face of COVID isn’t helping save lives risked by the influx of deadly narcotics at the border.

“[The] number one cause of death is not cancer and car crashes, it’s not COVID. It is absolutely the drugs that are coming in across our southern border,” Lake said.

Further compounding her concerns about the infiltration of far-left ideas into the nation’s foundational institutions is how the final result for the 2020 presidential election was called even before polls had closed.

“We don’t have fair elections; our elections are a mess. And we don’t have a border, we’re not going to have a country much longer,” she said.

Lake said that most people she speaks to across the country feel their First Amendment rights have been curtailed, meaning that they can’t express their conservative views without being attacked or canceled.

“The First Amendment’s on shaky ground right now. That’s why I’m outspoken, because I’m going to speak my mind and use my freedom of speech while we still have it,” Lake said. “So, we have got to save this country.”

Vision for the Future

During her journalism career, Lake said she kept her conservative values to herself in order to allow viewers to make up their own minds. But in her current role, she is happy to speak her mind and tell people how her administration will approach solving the problems plaguing Arizona.

With the various social problems and economic crises, Lake said it is becoming more and more difficult to live the American dream. If elected, her administration will advance vocational training programs so students can access the skills to prepare themselves for the real world and a great salary.

“We’ve ignored the trades where we need workers. We’re sending our kids off to get into debt with degrees that are meaningless when we really should be pushing them into the trades and vocational training to actually get a job.”

Lake said her 30 years in the news has given her a solid background in all the major issues concerning Arizonians and she is not afraid of being “canceled” and will stand up for shared American values.

“When I take the oath of office, immediately after taking my hand off the Bible, we’re going to sign and issue a declaration of invasion, and start tackling that problem on the border,” she said.

Lake addressed the political attacks from her competitors’ campaign saying she has been a Democrat until recent times. But she said she has largely been a Republican, with a few years of voting Democrat and Independent.

“I don’t think it matters that I’m a Republican with the ideas I’m putting forth, our ‘Arizona First.’ That’s what’s so beautiful about that movement. It really isn’t about politics, it’s about solutions, common sense solutions,” she said of her campaign.

Lake’s priority is to make the streets safer and bring more jobs and businesses to Arizona by improving the regulatory environment to allow businesses to flourish in her state.

Her administration will tackle homelessness in order to make communities safer and help those who are mentally ill or drug addicted, she said.

“I don’t believe for one second that God envisioned any one of us to live on the streets with a needle in our arm. We’re going to work to get them off the streets, banning urban camping by building enough shelter beds to get people help,” she said. “We’ve got an industry that’s formed around homelessness and not everybody in that industry wants to solve the problem. So, no more state money will go to any homeless program that does not show results.”

Skid Row in Los Angeles, Calif., on June 9, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Lake believes a clear message needs to be sent to miscreants and criminals: that no vandalism, crime, or violence will be tolerated. She said she will also push to hold people accountable for all “broken window” level offenses.

“And we’re going to work fast. And we’re going to work hard. We need somebody in office who is ready to make a transformational change for Arizona: stand up and fight for the people and I will fight every single day,” Lake said.

Jan Jekielek

Senior Editor


Jan Jekielek is a senior editor with The Epoch Times and host of the show, “American Thought Leaders.” Jan’s career has spanned academia, media, and international human rights work. In 2009 he joined The Epoch Times full time and has served in a variety of roles, including as website chief editor. He is the producer of the award-winning Holocaust documentary film “Finding Manny.”


Masooma Haq began reporting for The Epoch Times from Pakistan in 2008. She currently covers a variety of topics including U.S. government, culture, and entertainment.

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