Trump VP prospect Doug Burgum endorses Kari Lake in Arizona Senate race

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, a rising Republican star whose name has been floated as a potential running mate for former President Trump, has endorsed GOP hopeful Kari Lake in Arizona’s Senate race.

Borrowing a Trump phrase, Burgum released a statement Friday saying Lake has his “complete and total endorsement.”

“Kari Lake is the conservative fighter we need to help President Trump Make America Great Again,” he wrote.

He joins a long list of Trump-aligned Republicans who have thrown their support behind Lake ahead of Arizona’s July 30 GOP primary.

The governor, a wealthy businessman and investor, has stayed politically popular in North Dakota since he took office in 2016. Still, his campaign for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination failed to gain traction before Trump became the party’s presumptive nominee.

Burgum, 67, was among several Trump acolytes who attended the former president’s New York criminal trial earlier this month and said a conviction in the hush money case would be “a travesty of justice.”

Lake, a former TV anchor who unsuccessfully ran for Arizona governor in 2022, is a staunch Trump loyalist. Recent reports, however, suggested the former president has concerns about her campaign and the potential to be a drag on the GOP ticket.

Citing an unnamed source, The Washington Post reported last month: “At one point last year, after grumbling for months that [Lake] was at his Mar-a-Lago Club too often, Trump gently suggested to Lake that she should leave the club and hit the campaign trail in Arizona.”

Despite those concerns, she has remained close to the former president and a prominent figure in the MAGA movement, stemmed from Trump’s famous “Make America Great Again” motto.

Trump endorsed Lake’s campaign when it launched in October. She was even mentioned as an early possible vice presidential option.

The Burgum boost comes as Lake tries to hold onto her lead over Republican primary rival Mark Lamb. A Noble Predictive Insights poll released Thursday showed about 46 percent of Arizona Republicans surveyed said they back Lake, while about 21 percent said they support Lamb, the Pinal County sheriff. A similar poll in February showed Lake at 54 percent.

The GOP primary winner will go on to face Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego in the November general election. Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is not seeking another term, leaving the seat up for grabs.

Lake has declined invitations to debate Lamb.

“Frankly, I’m not running against Mark Lamb,” Lake said during a local TV interview. “I’m focused on who my opponent is and that is Ruben Gallego.”

The Hill/Decision Desk HQ’s polling index shows Lake trailing Gallego by 8 points, bringing in 35.8 percent of the vote compared to the Arizona lawmaker’s 46.5 percent.

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