Lake Clashes With Senate Rival at Phoenix Airport

GOP hopeful was on the same flight from Washington, DC, as Ruben Gallego
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2023 7:23 AM CDT
Arizona Senate Rivals Clash at Phoenix Airport
FILE - Kari Lake speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference, March 4, 2023, at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md. Lake, an ally of Donald Trump who has refused to acknowledge her loss in last year’s race for Arizona governor, is running for U.S. Senate. A senior adviser says Lake will formally...   (AP Photo/Alex Brando, File)

Passengers at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport got a possible preview of next year's Senate debates when two candidates clashed after arriving on the same flight from Washington, DC. The Arizona Republic reports that the exchange between Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego and Kari Lake, who is seeking the Republican nomination, began during the flight, when Lake asked Gallego in a post on X whether he still believes a border wall is racist and accused him of "facilitating an invasion." "We're on the same plane!" Gallego replied. "Just come back from first class to coach and we can chat."

Lake apparently didn't take Gallego up on the offer during the flight, but after it landed, she "ambushed him with questions, wearing a lapel mic while a phone camera recorded," sources tell the New York Times. In a three-minute conversation captured in a video the Daily Caller posted on X, they discussed topics including immigration and homelessness.

After a passerby told Lake she was "railroaded" in an apparent reference to her claim that election fraud cost her victory in last year's election for Arizona governor, she pointed to Gallego and said, "We did, and this guy wants to destroy our country. He really does." When Gallego said border security was something they could work on together, Lake said, "No, I'm not working together with you. I'm going to beat you," per the Republic. "I'm going to beat you, and we're going to save Arizona." Lake filed paperwork for a Senate run on Tuesday. Incumbent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who switched from Democrat to independent last year, hasn't confirmed whether she will seek another term. (More Election 2024 stories.)

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