Former VP Mike Pence endorses Karrin Taylor Robson for Arizona governor

Jul 18, 2022, 10:50 AM | Updated: 10:53 am
Former Vice President Mike Pence has endorsed Karrin Taylor Robson in Arizona's Republican gubernat...
Former Vice President Mike Pence has endorsed Karrin Taylor Robson in Arizona's Republican gubernatorial primary race. (Facebook Photos)
(Facebook Photos)

PHOENIX – Mike Pence is aligning himself against his former executive branch partner, Donald Trump, in Arizona’s gubernatorial race.

The former vice president endorsed Karrin Taylor Robson in the Republican primary, Taylor Robson’s campaign announced on Monday.

Pence is entering the Arizona fray about two weeks before the Aug. 2 primary and nearly a year after Trump threw his support behind Kari Lake last September. Early voting started July 6.

“Karrin Taylor Robson is the only candidate for governor that will keep Arizona’s border secure and streets safe, empower parents and create great schools, and promote conservative values,” Pence said in a press release. “Karrin is the best choice for Arizona’s future, and I am proud to support her.”

Following up on the endorsement, Pence is set to join Taylor Robson on the campaign trail in Phoenix and southern Arizona on Friday, the same day Trump is holding a rally for his preferred statewide candidates in Prescott Valley.

The former president’s Grand Canyon State appearance was originally scheduled for this past Saturday, but it was postponed after the death of former wife Ivana Trump last week.

“Modern politics is full of charlatans and fakes, but Vice President Pence is the genuine article,” Taylor Robson said in the release. “He has never wavered in his conservative beliefs and commitment to our Constitution and left a rock-solid legacy as governor to which I will aspire.”

Pence was governor of Indiana when Trump selected him as his running mate in 2016.

Arizona’s Republican primary is turning into a showdown between the establishment wing of the party and Trump’s MAGA movement.

Doug Ducey, Arizona’s term-limited governor and co-chair of the Republican Governors Association, endorsed Taylor Robson as his preferred successor earlier this month.

Before that, Matt Salmon, a former congressman, ended his own gubernatorial campaign and said he’d work to get Taylor Robson elected.

In addition to Pence, Taylor Robson’s endorsers from outside Arizona include Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Lake, a former Fox 10 news anchor, has been the front-runner since the early stages of the race, but her lead has been shrinking, according to recent polling.

Taylor Robson has used her family’s vast fortune to raise her profile after entering the race as a relatively unknown housing developer and member of the Arizona Board of Regents, the appointed body that governs the state’s three public university.

Her husband, 91-year-old Ed Robson, is one of the state’s richest residents, amassing a fortune building master-planned retirement communities.

Taylor Robson has called the 2020 election “unfair,” but, unlike Lake and other Trump-backed candidates, she has stopped short of calling it fraudulent.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Former VP Mike Pence endorses Karrin Taylor Robson for Arizona governor