Arizona’s Kari Lake to headline Nebraska GOP fundraiser for up to $10,000 a ticket

By: - November 3, 2023 2:41 pm

The Nebraska Republican Party is hosting Arizona U.S. Senate candidate, television reporter and election denier Kari Lake on Jan. 5 in Omaha. (Screenshot of tweet from X)

LINCOLN — The first Nebraska Republican Party fundraiser of 2024 features former television reporter, U.S. Senate candidate and election denier Kari Lake of Arizona. She visits Omaha on Jan. 5, the eve of the third anniversary of the storming of the U.S. Capitol.

CHI Health Center
Omaha’s CHI Health Center, an arena and convention center, is shown. (Courtesy of Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority)

Lake, a Republican who lost her 2022 gubernatorial election to Democrat Katie Hobbs in Arizona, is running a 2024 race against Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who left the Democratic Party in December. Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., is running as well.

Like a man she calls her political muse, former President Donald Trump, Lake denies losing her race. Lake rose to national prominence by embracing Trump’s rejection of his 2020 loss to President Joe Biden. She sharply criticized Republicans who acknowledged his defeat.

She is visiting Nebraska during an Iowa campaign trip for Trump. Her event is the latest push to excite the base by new leadership of the Nebraska GOP, which in July 2022 ousted a team loyal to then-Gov. Pete Ricketts. The new team includes similarly Trump-focused Republicans.

Party spokeswoman Dawn Liphardt said Nebraska conservatives are interested in Republicans retaking the Senate and are interested in Arizona’s race. She called Lake “a strong speaker” who will “get Republicans excited” about the 2024 elections locally, which include two Senate races.

Lake is well-liked among some conservatives for aggressively critiquing members of the press and for her loyalty to Trump and his populist approach to politics. Like him, she emphasizes border security.

The Nebraska GOP announced the event by email, selling $50 general admission tickets, $25 tickets for booster club members, $600 for a book signing with Lake, and a $10,000-per-person VIP event before the candidate speaks at 7 p.m. at CHI Center Omaha.

‘Doubling down’

Nebraska Republican Party Chairman Eric Underwood speaks as former GOP gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbster and former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway listen in August 2023 in Norfolk, Neb. (Aaron Sanderford/Nebraska Examiner)

Nebraska Democratic Party chair Jane Kleeb said the Lake fundraiser shows the Nebraska GOP “doubling down with their election denying and reproductive rights denying strategy.”

That, Kleeb said, risks turning off voters and flipping more seats the Democrats’ way.

GOP-led Nebraska is no swing state. Trump won the state easily in 2020, beating Biden in two of the state’s three congressional districts. But Trump lost an Electoral College vote to Biden in the Omaha-based 2nd Congressional District. 

Nebraska, like Maine, awards a single electoral vote to the presidential popular vote winners in each of the state’s three congressional districts. The Nebraska Legislature has been discussing moving back to winner-take-all elections.

Omaha-area state senators and voters have pushed back against such proposals, arguing that the state benefits economically from the spending by both presidential campaigns competing for the electoral vote that might prove vital in a close race.

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Aaron Sanderford
Aaron Sanderford

Political reporter Aaron Sanderford has tackled various news roles in his 20-plus year career. He has reported on politics, crime, courts, government and business for the Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal-Star. He also worked as an assignment editor and editorial writer. He was an investigative reporter at KMTV.