Trump-backed Senate candidate Kari Lake raises over $1M at Mar-a-Lago fundraiser: Sources

Lake is running to fill the seat of outgoing Sen. Kyrsten Sinema in November.

April 3, 2024, 11:15 PM

Kari Lake, the Senate candidate backed by former President Donald Trump in Arizona, raised just over $1 million at a fundraiser for her campaign at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate Wednesday, two campaign officials told ABC News.

The single-night haul is significant for Lake and gives her a financial boost as she seeks to fill the seat of outgoing Sen. Kyrsten Sinema in November.

Lake, who is expected to be the GOP nominee, is likely to face Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego in a closely-watched matchup that could help determine which party controls the narrowly divided Senate.

Lake has been a longtime ally and staunch supporter of Trump.

Lake, a former local news anchor who has never held public office, has become known in part for her outspoken support of Trump's false claims of voter fraud. Her Senate campaign comes after she narrowly lost her bid for governor to Democrat Katie Hobbs in 2022, after which she refused to accept the results of the race and has since continued her failed legal effort seeking to overturn that loss.

As she campaigns for office in 2024, however, Lake has noticeably softened her stance on mail-in voting -- which was attacked by Trump after he lost the 2020 presidential election.

Sources familiar with Wednesday's event said it marks a new fundraising record at Mar-a-Lago for a non-incumbent Senate candidate. Earlier this year, for example, Trump-backed candidate Bernie Moreno in Ohio raised $350,000 at his Mar-a-Lago fundraiser, according to Axios.

Kari Lake speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference, March 4, 2023, at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md.
Alex Brandon/AP, FILE

The fundraiser on Wednesday evening comes after Lake entered the year trailing financially behind Gallego, who entered the race nearly a year before Lake did.

Tickets to the reception cost $1,000 per person, according to a copy of the invitation obtained by ABC News. Some packages cost as much as $100,000 per couple, according to the invite, which included a two-night stay at Mar-a-Lago and a dinner with Lake following the event.

Among the donors in attendance at Wednesday's event were Adam Kidan, a longtime Republican donor who has donated to numerous candidates, a source said. Kidan previously donated just over $13,000 to Lake's fundraising committee in November, according to federal election records.

At the end of 2023, Lake reported raising $2.1 million in the 12 weeks since announcing her bid in October, trailing behind Gallego's $3.3 million for the quarter.

Earlier this week, Gallego's campaign announced it had raised $7.5 million in the first quarter of 2024. Lake's campaign has not yet released its first-quarter fundraising numbers.

The Wednesday event also came on the heels of a fundraiser in Washington, D.C., by the National Republican Senatorial Committee that raised $330,000 for Lake, according to Politico, after she secured the endorsement from chair Steve Daines in February.