Karrin Taylor Robson outspent Kari Lake by $9M in second quarter
PHOENIX — Karrin Taylor Robson spent about $9 million more than Kari Lake from April to June as Arizona’s Republican gubernatorial primary race heated up, according to campaign finance reports.
Taylor Robson reported spending about $10.4 million while Lake listed approximately $1.4 million in their second-quarter campaign finance reports, which were due to the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office by last Friday.
However, Lake entered the final month of the race with more cash on hand — $400,000-$91,000 — and the polling lead despite Taylor Robson pouring millions of her own money into the race.
Taylor Robson loaned her campaign $9.4 million from April to June while, putting her self-funding total at more than $13 million. She also raised $723,000 in individual contributions and $5,750 from political action committees.
Lake, meanwhile, took in $1.1 million in contributions in the second quarter and hasn’t used loans to support her run.
Statewide and legislative candidates have until Saturday to file their final finance reports (covering July 1-16) before the Aug. 2 primary election.
Voters will have the final word on whether Taylor Robson’s investment was worthwhile. Polls have shown her gaining ground since April — but not by much, even with the withdrawal of former U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon from the race and his ensuing endorsement.
Lake has been the front-runner throughout the race, boosted by her name recognition as a longtime local news anchor and an early endorsement from former President Donald Trump last year.
Lake’s lead was 7 percentage points, 29%-22%, in an OH Predictive Insights poll of likely Republican primary voters conducted in early April. Both candidates picked up support as Election Day drew closer, with Taylor Robson pulling 2 points closer, to 40%-35%, in polling conducted days before the July 6 start of early voting and shortly after Salmon dropped out. The latest poll also showed 21% still unsure about their preference.
Taylor Robson entered 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.
She has used her family’s wealth to help boost her profile. Her husband, 91-year-old Ed Robson, amassed a fortune building master-planned retirement communities.
Taylor Robson also has picked up a string of high-profile endorsers, including Vice President Mike Pence and the man she wants to succeed, term-limited Gov. Doug Ducey.
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