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Pence splits with Trump again in endorsement for Arizona's governor

Mike Pence accepts the vice presidential nomination during the Republican National Convention from Fort McHenry National Monument on Aug. 26, 2020 in Baltimore, Md.
Drew Angerer
/
Getty Images
Mike Pence accepts the vice presidential nomination during the Republican National Convention from Fort McHenry National Monument on Aug. 26, 2020 in Baltimore, Md.

Former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence have thrown their weight behind competing GOP candidates in the Arizona race for governor in a move that further highlights the distance between two factions of the Republican following.

On Monday Pence announced an endorsement for Karrin Taylor Robson, a former developer and Republican lobbyist, in a last-minute move ahead of the Aug. 2 primary.

"Karrin Taylor Robson is the only candidate for Governor that will keep Arizona's border secure and streets safe, empower parents and create great schools, and promote conservative values," Pence said in a statement.

Last fall, Trump endorsed Kari Lake, a former local TV news anchor. Lake has centered her campaign around the false belief that the 2020 presidential election was stolen — claims not embraced by the state's current Republican Gov. Doug Ducey and other members of the party, including Robson.

Over the weekend, Ducey told CNN's Dana Bash that Lake is "misleading voters with no evidence," noting that he is also backing Robson.

This is not the first time the two former running mates have backed opponents this election cycle. Earlier this year Pence rallied for Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp ahead of the state primary, while Trump backed challenger David Perdue.

The move from Pence to rally for Kemp was seen at the time as the most outward effort to block Trump's influence. Kemp ultimately won the nomination.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ximena Bustillo
Ximena Bustillo is a multi-platform reporter at NPR covering politics out of the White House and Congress on air and in print.

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