By Corinne Murdock |
On Wednesday, GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake filed an appeal of her election lawsuit’s dismissal and the order to pay $33,000 to opponent Katie Hobbs for legal fees.
Lake’s lawsuit named Hobbs both personally and as secretary of state; Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer; the entire Maricopa County Board of Supervisors (BOS); and Maricopa County Elections Director Scott Jarrett.
In an interview with “War Room” founder and host Steve Bannon this past week, Lake claimed that the election was stolen from her by shadow figures bent on keeping cartels active, the border open, and inflation high. Lake said that Hobbs will merely be a “puppet” for these forces.
“The voters went to the ballot box in November because they’re fed up. The only way to stop me from stopping the cartels was to steal an election,” said Lake. “This state is going to go to hell in a handbasket if Katie Hobbs is allowed to take control.”
Lake further claimed that Hobbs was in on this alleged collusion
“Hobbs has absolutely no respect for the law. I can’t even believe she didn’t recuse herself from this botched election.” said Lake. “She didn’t even campaign, she didn’t debate, she hid from people, hid in her basement, had no policy, because she knew that she could rig the election and walk into office.”
Lake appealed to the Division 1 Court of Appeals. Lake has promised previously that she would take her case up to the Supreme Court if necessary.
READ THE NOTICE OF APPEAL HERE
The Maricopa County Superior Court dismissed Lake’s lawsuit on Christmas Eve. Maricopa County defendants and Hobbs filed for $696,000 collectively in sanctions on Monday. However, the court denied most of the sanctions on Tuesday, only awarding Hobbs’ team $33,000 in fees. Judge Peter Thompson clarified that Lake’s claims of election misconduct or fraud weren’t groundless or presented in bad faith, contrary to what Maricopa County argued in its sanctions request.
In response to the superior court’s dismissal, both Hobbs and BOS Chair Bill Gates issued press releases celebrating the win.
Hobbs campaign manager, Nicole Demont, issued a statement on her behalf. DeMont said that the judge affirmed what Arizona voters chose last month, not “the conspiracy-riddled, dark corners of the Internet” that voted for Lake. Hobbs earned over 1.28 million votes to Lake’s 1.27 million votes: a difference of 17,100 votes.
Gates said the ruling signaled a win for democracy. He stated that Lake’s lawsuit was a “made-for-TV tirade” absent any facts or evidence.
“Arizona courts have made it clear that frivolous political theater meant to undermine elections will not be tolerated,” wrote Gates.
Lake doesn’t appear to have the backing of some of the GOP’s national leadership. Embattled RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel told Newsmax that Lake lost because she ran a poor campaign, and that Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward also facilitated the loss.
“You had one candidate saying, ‘If you’re a McCain voter, get the hell out of my rallies.’ And then the McCain voters said, ‘Yeah, I’m not going to vote for you,” said McDaniel.
Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.