Arizona Republican Kari Lake will replace former Vice President Mike Pence as the keynote speaker at the Georgia Republican convention next month in Columbus.
Lake narrowly lost her bid to be the Grand Canyon State’s governor in November. The former Phoenix news anchor challenged Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs’ victory in court and said she will be appealing a trial court ruling last week against her case.
Lake also recently said she will likely run for U.S. Senate in 2024 if her court case is unsuccessful.
Georgia Republican Party Chairman David Shafer wrote in a Tuesday email to state party delegates, “I am delighted to announce that Kari Lake will be the keynote speaker at our Victory Dinner Friday evening, June 9.”
“Vice President Mike Pence was originally slated but has been forced to re-schedule because of a televised national town hall at which he will be making an announcement regarding his future plans,” he said.
“I heard Kari Lake speak at our last Republican National Committee meeting and look forward to welcoming her to the Peach State,” Shafer wrote.
Former GOP Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who is weighing a 2024 Senate bid, will headline the Georgia GOP convention’s Friday night event. She has refused to concede her narrow election defeat, and she’s become a favorite among Trump supporters. #gapol pic.twitter.com/oSSbfewIeG
— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) May 31, 2023
An insider with knowledge of the event told The Western Journal that tickets sold out hours after Lake was announced as the keynote speaker. The person further said that when Pence had been announced as keynote speaker, people had contacted the Georgia GOP wanting their money back.
The Western Journal reached out to the Georgia Republican Party to seek confirmation for both claims but did not immediately receive a response.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that former President Donald Trump — the front-runner among 2024 GOP presidential candidates — is also slated to speak during the two-day convention at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center.
“The back-to-back appearances by Pence and Trump had been highly anticipated by national Republicans amid a broader tug-of-war over the GOP’s direction ahead of the 2024 race,” the newspaper’s Greg Bluestein wrote.
Pence has been teasing a potential presidential bid of his own for months.
Declared presidential candidates set to speak at the Georgia GOP convention also include former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy.
Pence said he and Trump have gone their separate ways since the end of the 45th president’s term in 2021.
Trump believed Pence had the authority in his role as president of the Senate to not certify the Electoral College so that claims of election fraud could be further investigated by state legislatures.
Trump has been a strong supporter of Lake and endorsed her bid to be Arizona’s governor, helping her secure the Republican nomination.
Lake has been reported as a potential running mate for Trump should he become the GOP presidential nominee for 2024.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.