Kari Lake Throws Down the Gauntlet: 'Let's See If You're as Tough in a Debate as You Are Behind Your Keyboard'


Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake called on Garrett Archer, a political analyst for KNXV-TV in Phoenix who uses the Twitter handle “Data Guru,” to accept a debate challenge from pollster Rich Barris over the legitimacy of the recent midterm elections in the state.

Barris tweeted Saturday, “The 2022 Arizona midterm elections were not conducted legitimately. I have no problem extending invites to PUBLICLY debate me over that fact. All fake ‘gurus’ … are welcome to apply.”

“A word of caution. You’re not as smart as you think you are and I’m going to embarrass you,” he added.

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Lake’s campaign Twitter account replied, “We’d pay to watch @Garrett_Archer actually consider evidence of election fraud.”

Archer responded, “Me too. Do you have any?”

The campaign followed up by creating a poll on Twitter asking, “Does @Garrett_Archer have the courage to debate @Peoples_Pundit  about the 2022 election in Arizona?”

The poll showed about 90 percent of respondents believed he did not.

Lake herself encouraged Archer to accept the challenge, tweeting, “Come on, @Garrett_Archer. Let’s see if you’re as tough in a debate as you are behind your keyboard. What’d ya say? @Peoples_Pundit has agreed!”

Lake was a news anchor for KSAZ-TV in Phoenix for more than 20 years, stepping down in spring 2021 and announcing her bid for governor a few months later.

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She filed a lawsuit Friday challenging the results of the governor’s race, in which Democrat Secretary of State Katie Hobbs was declared the winner, topping Lake by about 17,000 votes.

Lake’s filing in state court points to the widespread ballot printer and tabulator issues affecting 131 Maricopa County polling locations (59 percent of the total) as a reason the election failed to fulfill Arizona legal requirements.

The county has said 71 sites were impacted, about one-third in all.

Lake argued that since Republicans voted 3-to-1 over Democrats on Election Day, what happened was large-scale vote suppression of her supporters.

Archer tweeted last week that Election Day voters in Maricopa County (the Phoenix metropolitan area) strongly favored Republicans over Democrats.

Lake told Real America’s Voice host Charlie Kirk on Monday, “Seventy-five percent of people voting on Election Day were voting for me. And then you basically shut down or make it impossible to vote or very difficult to vote at roughly 60 percent of the locations to vote, you’re going to cut into our lead. This is the disenfranchisement of voters in Arizona.”

In addition to the voter machine issues, Lake’s lawsuit points to reported signature verification and ballot chain of custody issues.

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The GOP candidate told Kirk that her filing includes affidavits from three whistleblowers who work for Maricopa County who said that 90 percent of ballots being flagged for signature mismatches did not go through the curing process.

Her campaign is asking for access to the mail-in ballot envelopes so they can be checked against the signatures on file.

“If we do have a situation where votes are being, phony votes are being put in with no people attached to them, it makes sense that they would want to do that, right?” Lake said. “Because when you call to cure, you’re going to find out there’s no human being on the other end of that ballot.”

In April, the Arizona attorney general’s office issued a report concluding the ballot signature verification process was highly flawed during the 2020 election and there were chain of custody issues affecting up to 200,000 ballots.

Additionally, a study issued the previous month by the Election Systems Integrity Institute concluded Maricopa County allowed approximately 200,000 mail-in ballot envelopes with mismatched signatures to be forwarded for counting without further review.

Researchers reported that 11.3 percent of the approximately 1.9 million mail-in ballots should have gone through the curing process (verifying signatures, etc.), rather than the 1.31 percent that did.

The county only sent “upwards of 25,000” ballot signatures for review and ultimately only rejected 587 of those that went through the curing process.

Lake’s court filing also pointed to chain of custody issues in this year’s midterms.

“Highlighting the chain of custody failures … is the fact that two days after Election Day was completed Maricopa County found more than 25,000 additional ballots, whereas properly followed chain of custody procedures would require Maricopa County election officials to know the exact number of ballots submitted by the day after Election, November 9, 2022,” it said.

Given these and other issues identified in her brief, Lake’s lawsuit asked for a declaration that she won the gubernatorial race or a redo of the election in Maricopa County.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith