Kari Lake endorsed by alleged wife-beater in Arizona Senate race | Phoenix New Times

Kari Lake trumpets endorsement from alleged wife-beater Sonny Borrelli

The powerful Republican lawmaker also told women the only birth control they need is an aspirin "between your knees."
Kari Lake launched her campaign for the U.S. Senate on Oct. 10 at the Scottsdale headquarters of Jetset Magazine.
Kari Lake launched her campaign for the U.S. Senate on Oct. 10 at the Scottsdale headquarters of Jetset Magazine. TJ L'Heureux
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U.S. Senate candidate Kari Lake on Sunday announced she was endorsed by state Sen. Sonny Borrelli, a Republican with a history of domestic violence and misogyny.

In addition to Borrelli's domestic violence incidents years ago, in March the Lake Havasu City Republican also notoriously suggested that women should put aspirin between their knees as a means of birth control. Borrelli, the Senate Majority Leader, is the second most powerful lawmaker in the chamber.

"It's an honor to be in this fight with you," Lake said in a social media post about Borrelli's support. "Arizona is lucky to have you!"

The backing from Borrelli is just another feather in Lake's endorsement cap, which also includes support from Sen. Jake Hoffman. The powerful Republican is among Arizona's 11 fake electors recently indicted and facing nine felony charges for their alleged efforts in trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Lake has also hugged it up with a prominent young white nationalist, but Wade Searle hasn't formally endorsed her Senate run.

In the early 2000s, police responded to two domestic violence incidents involving Borrelli and his second wife, Julie. In March 2001, Borrelli was arrested after he punched Julie “in the mouth three times and pushed her to the ground during an argument,” according to police records. An officer observed Julie had dried blood around her mouth.

Julie’s 14-year-old son David W. Nadrchal Jr. — Borrelli’s stepson — said Borrelli pushed Julie into a video poker machine in the living room, after which she could not stand up and crawled across the floor. Fifteen years later, Nadrchal wrote a letter retracting his statement to police, saying he was coached by his mother.

According to police, Julie yelled for Nadrchal to call 911. He told police that when Borrelli found out he was on the phone, the future politician broke down a locked door and ripped the phone from the wall. Borrelli then told Nadrchal to wake his brother and pack his clothes “because they were going to leave."

Borrelli pleaded guilty to a class 1 misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge tagged with domestic violence, which was reduced from the initial assault charge he received from the Lake Havasu City Police Department. He told Arizona Capitol Times in 2016 that he pleaded guilty to quickly settle the case and avoid losing custody of his son from his first marriage, who was not involved in the incident.

Lake's campaign did not respond to a request for comment on Borrelli's endorsement.

‘Put it between your knees’

Three years later, police were called again. In August 2004, Borrelli called 911 claiming Julie had come at him with a knife raised above her head. An officer who interviewed Borrelli reported, “He thinks he struck his wife in the face while attempting to get the knife away.” Borrelli had several 6-inch-long scratches on his chest that “appeared to have barely broken the skin,” the officer noted.

Another officer went to a local hospital, where Julie received treatment. The subsequent police report stated that she "had a large amount of dried blood completely covering the lower portion of her face," as well as "dried/smeared blood on her hands and arms" and "noticeable bruise/swelling on the right side of her neck (near her lower jaw).” The officer also noted a bloody tooth chip was sitting on a bedside tray.

Prosecutors never pursued a case, and the statute of limitations expired. In November 2013, Borrelli and Julie began divorce proceedings. In 2016, Borrelli called his then-ex-wife a “lying bitch” in an interview with Phoenix New Times. That same year, Arizona Capitol Times reported that Julie was serving a year-long jail sentence for attempted theft.

Borrelli's tenure in government has been no less controversial. In 2017, Borrelli introduced Senate Bill 1142, which equated protesting with organized crime and targeted the rights of free speech and assembly enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. In 2021, he went to Las Vegas for a QAnon conference as followers of the conspiracy theory worked with Arizona senators and audit officials in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

In March 2024, Borrelli grabbed headlines again in when he spoke out and voted against a Democratic effort to guarantee a right to birth control. “Like I said, Bayer Company invented aspirin — put it between your knees,” Borrelli said, suggesting birth control would not be needed if women did not have sex. He claimed Democrats were “creating a controversy that doesn’t exist because nobody’s opposing," even though he opposed the effort.

The motion was blocked by Republicans in a party-line vote.

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