Trump-Backed Kari Lake Knocked Doors for Obama, Former Colleague Says

Lake running for Arizona governor as self-proclaimed 'only conservative' in the race

Kari Lake /
April 14, 2022

Kari Lake—the self-proclaimed "only conservative" in the race for Arizona governor—volunteered to knock doors for the Obama campaign while she worked as a news anchor, according to a former colleague.

Last month, Lake's longtime Fox 10 Phoenix colleague told former Pinal County sheriff Paul Babeu (R.) that Lake "went door to door canvassing for Barack Obama" during her time at the network, Babeu told the Washington Free Beacon. The former colleague, who requested anonymity to speak freely, confirmed that the conversation with Babeu took place and said the allegation about Lake's work for Obama emerged in the Fox 10 newsroom after Lake announced her candidacy for governor. Her Republican campaign has shocked coworkers given her political activity while at the network.

The allegation that Lake knocked on doors for a Democratic presidential candidate is at odds with her rhetoric on the campaign trail, where Lake has positioned herself as the "only conservative, America First Trump Republican in the race." It is not, however, surprising given her past political activity—the Free Beacon reported last year that Lake in 2004 made her first ever political contribution to then-Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. Four years later, in 2008, Lake registered as a Democrat and contributed to Obama's first presidential campaign.

According to Lake's former colleague, Lake campaigned for Obama with Stephanie Angelo, who in 2008 was married to a different Fox 10 colleague, Troy Hayden. A veteran Arizona Democratic operative who was working in the state in 2008 identified Angelo as one of the party's most committed volunteers at the time and said Angelo and Lake were "best friends."

Neither Lake's campaign nor Angelo returned a request for comment. Hayden declined to comment, as Fox 10 employees are barred from discussing Lake's candidacy with outside media outlets.

Lake left her job as a Fox 10 anchor in March 2021, citing her disapproval of the "obvious bias" and "liberal ideology" in mainstream media. On the campaign trail, she regularly attacks the "biased media" for working to tip the scales in Democrats' favor. If the allegations are true, Lake appears to have embodied the media behavior she now says forced her to quit the industry.

Lake's alleged behavior doesn't just contradict her rhetoric—network policy bars employees from campaigning for political candidates.

Lake worked to sidestep criticism of her past financial support for Democrats first by blaming the donations made in her name on her ex-husband, which would be illegal. She then said she evolved politically. "Look at Ronald Reagan," Lake told one interviewer who pressed her on her donations to Democrats. "He was a former Democrat. What's the problem with it?" Lake also says the Democratic Party has grown more radical since she supported Kerry and Obama. (Lake's 2008 donation to Obama came shortly after National Journal ranked the Illinois Democrat the most liberal senator.)

In addition to her campaign donations to Democrats, Lake has pushed for liberal immigration policies such as amnesty and criticized former president Donald Trump. In a 2016 Facebook post, Lake said it was "impossible" to implement Trump's "plan to deport 11 million immigrants" and argued that the United States should instead allow illegal immigrants to "legally" reside in the country as they await citizenship. One year later, Lake blasted Trump's infamous Charlottesville press conference as "a real $hit$how" and said Trump showed "absolutely no self control."

Lake landed Trump's endorsement nonetheless. She now professes her "love" for the former president, says Trump should be put on Mount Rushmore, and promises to "send National Guard Troops to the border" to deport "illegal aliens invading Arizona."

Trump's support has propelled Lake to the front of a crowded Republican primary field, which includes land developer Karrin Taylor Robson and former Republican congressman Matt Salmon. According to a Wednesday OH Predictive Insights poll, Lake leads the race with 29 percent support to Taylor Robson's 22 percent and Salmon's 11 percent.