Kari Lake, a former Republican candidate for governor of Arizona known for advancing improbable election conspiracies, will deliver a speech at a Michigan Republican conference.
Kari Lake: Who is she?
The statewide Leadership Conference of the Michigan Republican Party will be held from September 22 to 24 at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. Kari Lake, a former news anchor and Republican candidate for governor in Arizona, is scheduled to deliver a keynote address. Since electing election skeptic Kristina Karamo as party chair in February, the party has embraced voting conspiracies, as evidenced by Lake’s appearance alongside filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza.
Thank you, Idaho!
I love you! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/WjLAP9vcN5
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) July 30, 2023
By a margin of 17,000 votes, Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs defeated Kari Lake in the 2022 election for governor of Arizona. Lake keeps asserting that her election was stolen despite being rejected in court multiple times in her attempts to contest the result.
The movie “2000 Mules,” directed and starring Dinesh D’Souza, is known for spreading conspiracy theories. It makes the claim that there is a nebulous network of absentee ballot “mules” in swing states like Michigan who allegedly stole the 2020 election from Donald Trump. These main points of the film have, however, been widely debunked by professionals.
The Michigan GOP conference website teases the announcement of additional speakers in the near future. It claims that as the party gets ready for the 2024 elections, these selected speakers will upend the status quo and lead the party to greater heights of excellence and cultural understanding.
But adopting election denialism might not be the best course of action. According to the nonpartisan watchdog States United Action, less than 1 in 6 races for governor, attorney general, and secretary of state during the 2020 midterms were won by candidates who denied the results of the election. A working paper from Stanford University shows that election-denying Republican candidates suffered an average loss of over 2 percentage points as a result of their promotion of false claims during the midterm elections.
The Michigan GOP still promotes voting conspiracies despite these findings by hosting speakers like Dinesh D’Souza and Kari Lake. Both have made the false claim that widespread voter fraud caused Donald Trump to lose the 2020 presidential election.
In the months leading up to the conference, the party’s position on unproven election conspiracies and the influence of speakers like D’Souza and Lake may have a significant impact on the direction and messaging of the party.
Read more: Who is Dinesh D’souza?