Arizona’s incoming governor, Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, is asking a judge to impose sanctions against her failed Republican challenger, Kari Lake, and Lake’s attorneys for unfounded attacks against elected officials in Maricopa County.
An Arizona judge heard arguments on Monday, Dec. 19, in an election challenge brought by Lake, the failed Republican nominee for Arizona governor and a voter challenger, against Arizona Secretary of State Hobbs, Maricopa County Recorder, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and the Maricopa County Clerk of Elections.
Hobbs asked a judge Monday for more than half-a-million dollars in sanctions for defeating rival Lake and her attorneys for filing a frivolous lawsuit aimed at overturning the results of the 2022 Grand Canyon State gubernatorial midterm elections.
Lake’s request for a judge in Arizona to throw out her opponent’s 10 counts alleged that election officials in Maricopa County—home to most of the state’s population—committed misconduct and tabulated hundreds of thousands of illegal votes.
Then-Gov.-elect Hobbs attorneys’ argued that Lake’s claims did not meet election-contest standards under Arizona law, since election challenges can be brought only when fraud, misconduct, or illegal votes affected the election result, and only when those alleged errors would change the result.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson oversaw a two-day trial on some of Lake’s claims. “Every single witness before the Court disclaimed any personal knowledge of such misconduct. The Court cannot accept speculation or conjecture in place of clear and convincing evidence,” Thompson wrote in her judgment.
“If there’s anything rotten in Arizona, it is what this contest represents,” an attorney for Hobbs said at the hearing. “For the past several years, our democracy and its basic guiding principles have been under sustained assault from candidates who just cannot or will not accept the fact that they lost. The judiciary has served as a bulwark against these efforts to undo our democratic system from within.”
“Buckle up, America. This is far from over,” Lake wrote on Twitter after the ruling.