December 28

By Claire Hansen

Former Arizona GOP Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake is doubling down on a challenge of her November election loss, even after a county judge dismissed her lawsuit and ordered her to pay legal fees to her opponent, Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs.

Lake on Tuesday night appealed Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson’s ruling dismissing or rejecting all of the complaints in her election-related lawsuit as well as his decision to order her to pay $33,000 to reimburse Hobbs’ legal team.

The former TV news anchor is asking the state Court of Appeals to reconsider all 10 complaints in her initial lawsuit, as well as the order pertaining to legal fees. She will also ask the state Supreme Court for a direct review.

Lake was endorsed by President Donald Trump and was one of the most prominent candidates running in the November elections to promote his conspiracy that the 2020 election was illegitimate and that election fraud is rampant, including in Arizona. Lake sits on the far right of the GOP’s platform and courted the votes of hard-line conservatives in Arizona with inflammatory rhetoric.

She lost to Hobbs, a Democrat and the Arizona secretary of state, by more than 17,000 votes last month. But she has since refused to accept the results of the election, claiming that Republican voters were disenfranchised and repeating a number of debunked or misconstrued claims about the voting process.

That refusal culminated in a lawsuit that alleged intentional vote-fixing and claimed that there were efforts to change printer settings and modify the chain of custody for ballots in Maricopa County, the largest county in Arizona.

Thompson dismissed eight of the 10 complaints in the lawsuit outright but allowed a two-day trial for Lake’s legal team to make a case for the remaining two, which involved the printers and chain of custody. Following the trial, Thompson on Christmas Eve rejected the remaining complaints as well.

Lawyers for Maricopa County argued that Lake’s lawyers knew their complaints could not be substantiated and brought the lawsuit in bad faith in violation of ethics rules, but Thompson did not make such a finding and chose not to sanction Lake’s team. He did, however, order Lake on Tuesday to pay more than $33,000 for Hobbs’ legal fees.

Following Thompson’s Dec. 24 ruling, Lake tweeted and then deleted a statement alleging that the ruling was “ghostwritten” by Democratic attorneys.