Arizona judge rejects Kari Lake’s final 2022 election lawsuit

·2 min read

An Arizona judge rejected the final lawsuit brought by Republican Kari Lake, affirming Democrat Katie Hobbs won the 2022 election for governor.

In a ruling Monday evening after a three-day trial last week, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson found that Lake’s team did not present “clear and convincing evidence or a preponderance of evidence” that misconduct was committed in last fall’s Arizona election.

Lake exits Maricopa County Superior Court in Mesa, Arizona, on May 19, 2023, after closing arguments by attorneys at her election challenge trial. - Joel Angel Juarez/The Arizona Republic/AP

Lake, who has amplified former President Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election, has continued spreading falsehoods after the 2022 governor’s election, denying that Hobbs had defeated her by approximately 17,000 votes.

Arizona was a key battleground for governor and Senate in 2022, and likely will be again in next year’s presidential contest. A former news anchor at Fox 10 in Phoenix, Lake was one of the most prominent candidates of the 2022 cycle as she and Hobbs vied to replace term-limited Republican Gov. Doug Ducey.

Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Clint Hickman, a Republican, called the ruling “justice.”

“Wild claims of rigged elections may generate media attention and fundraising pleas, but they do not win court cases,” Hickman said in a statement. “When ‘bombshells’ and ‘smoking guns’ are not backed up by facts, they fail in court.”

In what Lake’s team had billed as a “BIG Announcement,” the Republican told reporters Tuesday that she plans to raise money for her legal team to push its challenge of the 2022 gubernatorial result to the US Supreme Court.

“We’re going to keep going,” she said, surrounded by her 2022 campaign signs. “The people of this great state want me to stay in this fight.”

Lake also said she is going to back a multimillion-dollar effort to register voters and pursue mail-in ballots – a tactic at which Republicans had excelled until party leaders like Lake and Trump cast doubt on the legitimacy of absentee voting.

“If anything goes, then anything goes. And we are going to make sure we push the envelope, the legal envelope, as far as it can go,” Lake said. “We’re going to inundate them with so many mail-in ballots, their heads are going to spin.”

Lake did not say whether she will seek the 2024 GOP nomination for the US Senate seat currently held by independent Kyrsten Sinema.

Asked if she was announcing a Senate run, Lake said, “Well, not today.”

This story has been updated with additional details.

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