She was endorsed by former president Donald Trump, but lost the election to Democrat Katie Hobbs. Lake is known for her controversial views and statements on various issues, such as the 2020 presidential election, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Red for Ed movement.

Early Life and Education

Lake was born on August 23, 1969, in Rock Island, Illinois, to Larry A. Lake and Sheila A. Lake. Her father was a teacher and football and basketball coach and her mother was a nurse. She was the youngest of nine children: seven sisters and one brother. When Lake was seven, her parents divorced, and her father won custody. She grew up in Iowa and studied at North Scott Senior High School in Eldridge, Iowa. She graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in communications and journalism.

Media Career

Lake began her media career in 1991 as an intern at KWQC-TV in Davenport, Iowa, while attending college. She later became a production assistant and then joined WHBF-TV in Rock Island, Illinois, as a daily reporter and weekend weathercaster in 1992. In 1994, she moved to Phoenix, Arizona, to work as a weekend weather anchor for KPNX. She later became an evening anchor for KPNX before relocating to Albany, New York, in 1998 to work for WNYT. She returned to Arizona in 1999 and became an evening anchor for KSAZ-TV (Fox 10 Phoenix), where she worked until 2021.

During her time at KSAZ-TV, Lake interviewed President Barack Obama in 2016 and President Donald Trump in 2020. She also shared false and unverified information on social media, prompting criticism and acquiring a reputation as a provocateur. In 2018, she opposed the Red for Ed movement, which sought more funding for education through strikes and protests, claiming that the movement was a "big push to legalize pot". She later apologized for the statement (saying that she "made an incorrect conclusion") and took an unexpected month-long leave from her position at the station.

Political Career

Lake retired from her anchor role in early 2021 and announced her candidacy for governor of Arizona in June 2021 as a Republican. Her campaign was supported by former President Donald Trump, who endorsed her in September 2021. She won the Republican nomination in the August primary, defeating former state treasurer Jeff DeWit and former congressman Matt Salmon.

Lake ran on a platform of supporting Trump's policies and claims of election fraud, opposing COVID-19 mandates and restrictions, defending gun rights and border security, and promoting school choice and parental rights. She also made several controversial statements during her campaign, such as calling for the imprisonment of those who accepted Trump's defeat in the 2020 presidential election, including her Democratic opponent Katie Hobbs; accusing Hobbs of being involved in a child trafficking ring; comparing vaccine mandates to Nazi Germany; suggesting that COVID-19 vaccines could make people magnetic; and endorsing conspiracy theories about QAnon, chemtrails, and fluoride.

Lake lost the gubernatorial election to Hobbs by a margin of 5 percentage points (52% to 47%), according to the official results certified by the Arizona Secretary of State's office on November 29, 2022. However, Lake refused to concede and filed a lawsuit in an attempt to have the results overturned and herself declared the winner. She alleged that there were widespread irregularities and fraud in the election process, such as ballot harvesting, voting machine tampering, illegal votes from non-citizens and dead people, and interference from foreign countries. She also claimed that she had evidence from audits conducted by private firms hired by her campaign.

Most of Lake's lawsuit was rejected by all three levels of Arizona's state courts: the Superior Court (the lowest level), the Court of Appeals (the intermediate level), and the Supreme Court (the highest level). The judges dismissed her claims as baseless, unsubstantiated, or lacking jurisdiction. The remainder of her lawsuit was also rejected by the Superior Court on December 15, 2022. Lake vowed to appeal to the federal courts and to continue fighting for "election integrity".

Personal Life

Lake married Tracy Finnegan in 1991 but they divorced shortly after. She married Jeff Halperin in 1998 and they have two children: a son named Max and a daughter named Audrey. Lake lives with her family in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

Lake used to be a Democrat between 2008 and 2012. She supported the presidential campaigns of John Kerry in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. She switched back to being a Republican in 2012 after becoming disillusioned with Obama's policies.