Republican government candidate Kari Lake staged anti-mask rally at ASU

GOP candidate for governor makes questionable promise to students. Supporters include a Jan. 6 participant and an anti-masker who tried to ruin a business.

PHOENIX – A defiant Kari Lake challenged Arizona State University’s new face mask requirement during an outdoor rally on Friday at the school’s Tempe campus.

“Who’s sick and tired of this shit?” Said the former TV news anchor turned Republican candidate for governor.

Lake hung a face mask from his raised left hand, then stepped on it, as the crowd cheered him on.

She then told the crowd of about 100, “Take the mask and tell Michael Crow to push it.”

Crow, the president of ASU, later told 12 News that he had never spoken to Lake.

Here are five takeaways from the lake rally:

“I will forgive every patriot”

During his four-minute speech, Lake offered no ideas on how to respond to the burgeoning pandemic beyond refusing to wear a mask.

“Do you remember slowing down the spread? ” she said. “We’re on Day 515 of those bastards trying to destroy our lives.”

The state suffers a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections.

Cases have peaked in six months and many school districts are struggling to keep classrooms full.

Arizona’s seven-day COVID-19 death rate per 100,000 people on Friday ranked 11th among states and territories, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Lake repeated a questionable offer to students she made on social media recently: If elected governor, she would forgive anyone named for violating ASU’s new policy of requiring face masks indoors.

“I’m here to tell you: accumulate tickets,” she said.

“I don’t care if they give you ticket after ticket. If they arrest you, the first day I am governor, I will forgive every patriot who stood up against this tyranny.”

The Arizona Constitution does not give the governor pardon power over contraventions or misdemeanors. The power of pardon only applies to criminal convictions.

Any discipline at ASU would likely be governed by the university’s code of conduct.

Refuse to answer questions

The first-time candidate went wild when I tried to ask a question as she was quickly leaving campus.

“I noticed you wouldn’t say the pledge of allegiance and it’s really despicable,” Lake said as she continued to walk away.

The rally’s first speaker, Republican State Senator Kelly Townsend de Mesa, led an oath of allegiance.

Lake couldn’t have seen me take the oath: I had a mask over my nose and mouth the whole rally.

The self-proclaimed former journalist fled without answering a single question.

She posted the video of her campaign meeting on social media.

Lake has built his campaign around his break with the “corrupt news media” last spring after two decades at a prominent position at a Fox-owned television station in Phoenix.

January 6 A participant harasses the team

Lake supporters were eager to speak to the 12 News team.

Several men harassed us as we tried to report the event.

Two of the men have troubling journeys that stood out:

Micajah Joel Jackson yelled at me several times while recording me with my photographer at work. He posted the video on social media.

Jackson was arrested after the Jan. 6 Capitol uprising for illegally storming the Capitol with white supremacist Proud Boys.

He pleaded not guilty to four counts and was released on bail, Federal Court documents show. Among the conditions of release, there is no contact with the Proud Boys.

Anti-mask tried to ruin a business

Ethan Schmidt tried to fit into our interviews, his cell phone camera in hand.

Schmidt is an anti-masker best known for posting a video of himself refusing to leave a Mesa wig store after ignoring the store’s mask requirement.

Cancer patients at high risk of COVID-19 infection are regular customers of the store.

Schmidt claimed the store discriminated against him.

“I care so much about my health that I walk around and tell people the masks don’t work,” Schmidt tells store staff in the video.

“Well, you have to go,” replies a member of staff.

Schmidt attempted to bankrupt the business by posting the store’s name, phone number and address on social media.

Where is the GOP governor’s race held

With a year left before the Republican primary for governor, Lake is widely regarded as the frontrunner among the top five candidates. The other four candidates are:

  • Steve Gaynor, Business Owner and 2018 GOP Candidate for Secretary of State
  • Karrin Taylor Robson, former member of the Arizona Board of Regents – the governing body of the state’s three public universities – and former developer.
  • Matt Salmon, former congressman and 2002 GOP candidate for governor.
  • State Treasurer and Former State Legislator Kimberly Yee

Lake’s more than 20 years as a TV news anchor in the Phoenix market give her a huge notoriety that her rivals cannot match.

She aligned herself with former President Donald Trump. Lake caught Trump’s attention with strong crowd support at a rally in Phoenix last month.

Lake traveled to South Dakota earlier this week to attend a “symposium” hosted by a big promoter of lies about the 2020 election, “My Pillow Guy” Mike Lindell.

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, a cheerleader from Lake, interviewed her at the event for his online program.

Arizona Politics

Follow all of our current updates on Arizona politics on our 12 News YouTube channel. Subscribe for updates on all of our new downloads.