Fiery GOP senate candidate Kari Lake tells Americans ‘to strap on a Glock’ ahead of 2024 election

Kari Lake listens as John Barrasso speaks at a news conference in Phoenix, Arizona (Getty Images)
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Contentious Arizona Republican Senate candidate Kari Lake suggested Americans should “strap on a Glock” to prepare for the 2024 election.

Ms Lake, a failed 2020 Arizona gubernatorial candidate who has never formally conceded her loss to now-governor Katie Hobbs, told a rally at Lake Havasu City on Tuesday that the lead-up to the election is going to be “intense”.

“We’re going to strap on our seatbelt. We’re going to put on our helmet – or your Kari Lake ball cap,” she continued. “We are going to put on the armour of God. And maybe strap on a Glock on the side of us just in case.” The crowd cheered.

She then gestured to her right hip, telling the crowd, “You can put one here… and one in the back or one in the front… Because we’re not going to be the victims of crime. We’re not going to have our second amendment taken away.”

Although she stopped short of saying it explicitly, her remarks suggested to her supporters that they could expect political violence in the run-up to the heated election.

However, her campaign rejected that idea. Alex Nicoll, a Kari Lake campaign spokesperson, told The New York Times that the Senate candidate was “clearly talking about the second amendment right for Arizonans to defend themselves”.

Lake Havasu City, where the Senate hopeful was speaking, is located in Mohave County. In 2020, 75 per cent of residents in Mohave County voted for Donald Trump.

At the rally, Ms Lake also aligned herself with the former president. She told the crowd that Mr Trump is “willing to sacrifice everything I am”, Ms Lake said, “and that’s why they’re coming after us with lawfare.”

Mr Trump was found to be the “central cause” of the January 6 Capitol riot, in an alleged effort to stop the certification of the 2020 election in favour of Joe Biden, according to a House select committee’s final report.

Ms Lake is vying for the soon-to-be vacant Arizona Senate seat, currently occupied by Sen Kyrsten Sinema, against Democratic Congressman Ruben Gallego.

Rep Gallego’s campaign raised more than $7m in the first quarter, according to FEC filings. By contrast, Ms Lake raised more than $3m in the same period, filings show. Recent polls also indicate Ms Lake is trailing behind the House Democrat.

Everyone seems to have an opinion on Ms Lake. The contentious former TV anchor was even booed at a Republican event after suggesting that “elections in Arizona are a corrupt mess”.

Meanwhile, her opinions on policy have notably changed in recent months.

The Trump ally had once referred to her state’s Civil War-era abortion measure as a “great law” but suddenly walked back on her stance after the state supreme court upheld the harsh ban on 9 April.

After the state supreme court’s ruling, Ms Lake softened her stance, saying abortion is “a very personal issue that each individual state and her people should determine”. The decision, and her pivot on the hot-button issue, came just one day after Mr Trump announced that abortion laws should be left to the states.