Photo by Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Flickr,

The Republican establishment loathes conservative firebrand Kari Lake.

Their relationship was turned on its head after one decision.

And the Republican establishment gave Kari Lake one message that surprised everyone.

Kari Lake receives a surprising endorsement

Arizona Republican Senate candidate Kari Lake’s icy relationship with the Republican establishment took a surprising twist.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), which is the official campaign arm of Senate Republicans, endorsed her in the Arizona Senate race.

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), the NRSC chair for this election cycle, called Lake “one of the most talented candidates in the country” in a statement announcing the endorsement.

“Kari is building an effective campaign operation that has what it takes to flip Arizona’s Senate seat in November. I’m proud to endorse Kari Lake for United States Senate,” Daines said.

Lake is a strong ally of former President Donald Trump and has positioned herself as a conservative outsider.

But she graciously accepted Daines’ backing and noted that the road to a Republican majority in the Senate could run through Arizona.

“I am honored to have the endorsement of Chairman Daines and the NRSC,” Lake told POLITICO. “We are uniting Republicans in Arizona and have a clear path to victory, The Senate Majority runs through Arizona.”

Heading off a contentious GOP Primary

The NRSC’s endorsement signals that the Republican establishment has made their peace with Lake being the GOP Senate candidate in Arizona.

There were rumblings that the establishment was looking to recruit a candidate to run against her Primary but that plan is now dashed.

Her only serious challenger for the nomination is Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb, who’s running as a fierce anti-establishment conservative.

Lake with the backing of the NRSC and the Trump endorsement will now be the overwhelming favorite in the GOP Primary.

Arizona is going to be one of the most important Senate races in the country with Democrats clinging to a slim 51- 49 majority in the chamber.

The state’s Senate race could see a wild three-way contest.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) – who left the Democrat Party in 2022 to become an independent – hasn’t announced if she’s going to run for re-election.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) is widely expected to win the Democrat nomination.

The NRSC endorsement comes on the heels of audio leaked by Lake of former Arizona Republican Party chairman Jeff DeWit telling her that people “from back east” were willing to bribe her to get out of the race.

Kari Lake running for Senate will be in a barnburner of a race that could very well decide which party controls the Senate after the election.

Election Buzz will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story. 

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