Lake Hopes Third Time Is the Charm With AZ Supreme Court

Lake Hopes Third Time Is the Charm With AZ Supreme Court

By Terri Jo Neff |

Kari Lake has announced she will once again seek review from the Arizona Supreme Court of her claims that she, and not Katie Hobbs, is the state’s legitimate governor.

It will be Lake’s third such effort since the Nov. 8, 2022 General Election, and comes after the Arizona Court of Appeals issued a Feb. 16 opinion upholding a Maricopa County judge’s dismissal back in December of Lake’s election challenge.   

Lake has claimed in various legal pleadings that Hobbs’ victory by more than 17,000 votes was improperly influenced by myriad Election Day problems in Maricopa County.  As a result, Lake has been seeking to have the county’s election certification voided in the governor’s race.

Her legal filings have argued that a judge should declare Lake as the rightful winner based on various evidence presented to the court. Or in the alternative, she wants an order for a new election in Maricopa County in the governor race. 

Last week’s unanimous appellate opinion noted Lakes’ request for relief “fails because the evidence presented to the superior court ultimately supports the court’s conclusion that voters were able to cast their ballots, that votes were counted correctly, and that no other basis justifies setting aside the election results.”

The opinion authored by Chief Judge Kent E. Cattani and joined by Presiding Judge Maria Elena Cruz and Judge Pro Tempore Peter B. Swann came on the heels of two failed earlier attempts by Lake’s legal team to bypass the appellate court and have the Arizona Supreme Court hear the case.

Lake now has until March 20 to file a Petition for Review with the state’s high court. There is no guarantee, however, that the Justices will accept the case.

Terri Jo Neff is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or send her news tips here.

Kari Lake Appeals Election Lawsuit Loss, Order to Pay $33K to Katie Hobbs

Kari Lake Appeals Election Lawsuit Loss, Order to Pay $33K to Katie Hobbs

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.


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

Attorney General Brnovich Signals Disapproval of Election

Attorney General Brnovich Signals Disapproval of Election

By Corinne Murdock |

Attorney General Mark Brnovich signaled his disapproval of the election during the statewide canvass certifying the results on Monday.

Brnovich indicated his displeasure with the events of the last month after Secretary of State and governor-elect Katie Hobbs lectured Arizonans that they must combat election misinformation, conspiracies, and critics. The attorney general paraphrased a quote seemingly directed at Hobbs.

“I should note: I didn’t know we were giving speeches today, but the governor and I pursuant to statute are merely witnesses to the certification,” stated Brnovich. “I’m reminded of what John F. Kennedy said: ‘Those who ride the tiger to seek power often end up inside.’”

The quote Brnovich paraphrased came from Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural address. The former president meant it as a metaphor: people who support communist countries in the hopes of benefitting will only be overtaken by them in the end.

“To those new states whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny,” stated Kennedy. “We shall not always expect to find them supporting our view. But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom—and to remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.”

Following the certification, Brnovich released a statement clarifying that his presence at the certification wasn’t a signal of support for the election administration. Brnovich shared that he would continue to scrutinize the election if necessary through the end of his term.

“As we gather today to solidify the 2022 midterm election results, many Arizonans of all political persuasions continue to have doubts about our election processes,” said Brnovich. “As attorney general, I have made it one of my office’s highest priorities to defend our election laws and advocate for changes when necessary. I will continue to do so throughout the end of my term.”

Brnovich’s spokeswoman, Katie Conner, stated that people could draw their own conclusions as to what Brnovich meant when paraphrasing Kennedy.

Watch the certification on the secretary of state’s website or below:

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

Conservative Parents Find Hope In Superintendent and School Board Races

Conservative Parents Find Hope In Superintendent and School Board Races

By Loretta Hunnicutt |

From the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) to local school board positions, several conservatives are currently leading or have already won key races on the education front in the 2022 General Election.

As of press time, Republican candidate for SPI Tom Horne had increased his lead in his challenge of incumbent Kathy Hoffman. Horne previously served as SPI from 2003 to 2011, prior to successfully running for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. If the results hold up, Horne says his focus as SPI will be on improving student performance and eradicating Critical Race Theory-based curriculum from Arizona’s public schools.

In the Peoria Unified School District race, Heather Rooks won a hard-fought and challenging race. Her efforts to expose the Social Emotional Learning-based policies and practices in the district eventually led her to request an injunction against an activist parent. As reported by the Arizona Daily Independent, Rooks, a mother of four school-aged children, obtained the injunction based on threats from Democrat activist, Josh Gray.

Two other conservative candidates, Amy Carney and Carine Werner, secured seats on the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) Governing Board. Their victories serve as a powerful repudiation of out-going Governing Board Member Jann-Michael Greenburg. Greenburg was sued by parents who accused him of trying to silence them after they exposed his secret Google Drive dossier on them. As AZ Free News reported in April, that dossier included a trove of political opposition research on parents, who opposed the district’s adoption of Social Emotional Learning and Critical Race Theory.

In the race for Flowing Wells School District Governing Board—an area known for being blue—conservative Brianna Hernandez Hamilton is currently holding on to one of two open spots. A mother of three very young children, Hernandez Hamilton ran with the slogan: “Parents + Teachers = Quality Education.”

Kurt Rohrs, a long-time education activist and frequent contributor to AZ Free News, won a spot on the Chandler Unified School District Governing Board. Rohrs, like Horne, focused on improving student performance and eliminating the divisive Critical Race Theory from the district’s curriculum. Many see Rohrs’ presence on the board as an opportunity to restore calm to the district which had become the center of controversy thanks to out-going board member Lindsay Love.

In the race for Dysart Unified School District Governing Board, conservative Dawn Densmore was retained by voters. As current president of the board, Densmore successfully led the fight to end the district’s relationship with the Arizona School Board Association (ASBA). Jennifer Drake also won a seat on the board.

Sandra Christensen is set to win a seat on the Paradise Valley Unified School District Governing Board. Libby Settle and Madicyn Reid are in the lead for spots in Fountain Hills. Paul Carver should take a win in Deer Valley. Jackie Ulmer appears to have been successful in Cave Creek as well as Rachel Walden in Mesa and Chad Thompson in Gilbert. In the Higley Unified School District, conservative Anna Van Hoek also won a seat on the board.

In a tweet from earlier this week, former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos summed up what many parents have been feeling over the past few years – left out. In response to the National Education Association’s claim that teachers “know better than anyone” what students need in the classroom, DeVos responded, “You misspelled parents.” 

PAC Fighting Against 3 Propositions Got 99 Percent Of Funds From Outside Arizona

PAC Fighting Against 3 Propositions Got 99 Percent Of Funds From Outside Arizona

By Terri Jo Neff |

A political action committee registered with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office this summer raised nearly $325,000 in the third quarter of 2022, with only $33 of that being reported as coming directly from Arizona contributors.

Will Of The People is urging voters to vote “no” on Propositions 128, 129, and 132 which are on the 2022 General Election ballot. But who is behind those efforts came under scrutiny this week upon the filing of the group’s latest campaign finance report.

The website for Will Of The People notes 20 percent of contributions are “coming from out of state,” although a recent political mailer reflects an out-of-state contribution rate of 43 percent. However, that rate could be as high as 99.9 percent based on the $324,959.44 the group received July 17 through Sept. 30.

It is the corporate contributions listed on group’s 2022 post-primary election (Q3) Schedule C4b which has garnered review, including 11 payments from Washington, D.C.-based The Fairness Project totaling more than $254,633. The other cash contributions came from Berkeley-based Every Single Vote ($70,000) and another D.C.-based donor, Ballot Initiative Strategy Center ($326.11).

Another $33 total in cash came from four individual contributors in Arizona, according to the PAC’s treasurer, Dacey Montoya.

The Fairness Project is funded in turn by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which is “dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families and creating a more just and humane society” and has won praise from U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.

While Will Of The People is focused on Props 128, 129, and 132, SEIU is behind Healthcare Rising AZ, which supports efforts to amend Arizona statutes by adding restrictions to how medical debt can be collected. Healthcare Rising AZ recently received $15,000 in contributions from the Maricopa County Democratic Party and Arizona Democratic Party.


Prop 128 would amend the Arizona Constitution to allow the state legislature to amend, divert funds from, or supersede an initiative or referendum measure enacted by the people of Arizona if the measure is found to contain illegal or unconstitutional language by the Arizona or United States Supreme Court.

Currently, state law prohibits legislators from correcting the illegal or unconstitutional language. A “yes” vote would amend the Constitution to allow such corrections, while the “no” vote advocated by Will Of The People would leave the restrictive prohibition in place.

Prop 129 would amend the Arizona Constitution to limit an initiative measure to a single subject and require that subject to be expressed in the title of the initiative measure. A “yes” vote supports the proposed amendment while a “no” vote shall have the effect of retaining existing law on initiative measures.

Prop 132 would amend the Arizona Constitution relating to initiative and referendum measures by requiring any initiative or referendum that seeks to approve a tax to receive at least 60 percent of the votes cast to become law. A “yes” vote is for amending the Constitution while a “no” voter leaves the existing law of 50 percent plus 1 in effect.