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Arizona judge dismisses Kari Lake’s last 2022 election case

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Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters

Kari Lake speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, DC on March 4, 2023.



CNN

An Arizona judge dismissed the final lawsuit filed by Republican Kari Lake and confirmed that Democrat Katie Hobbs won the 2022 gubernatorial election.

In a ruling Monday night 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 the evidence” that election fraud was committed in Arizona last fall.

Joel Angel Juarez/The Arizona Republic/AP

Lake leaves Maricopa County Superior Court in Mesa, Arizona, on May 19, 2023, following closing arguments from attorneys in her campaign case.

Lake, who has reinforced former President Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election, has continued to spread lies after the 2022 gubernatorial election, denying that Hobbs defeated her by approximately 17,000 votes.

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

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

“Wild allegations of rigged elections may generate media attention and fundraising appeals, but they don’t win lawsuits,” Hickman said in a statement. “When ‘bombs’ and ‘smoking guns’ are not supported by facts, they fail in court.”

In what Lake’s team billed as a “BIG announcement,” the Republican told reporters Tuesday that she plans to raise money for her legal team to push their challenge of the 2022 gubernatorial outcome to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We will continue,” 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 will support a multimillion-dollar effort to register voters and pursue mail-in ballots — a tactic Republicans had excelled at until party leaders like Lake and Trump cast doubt on the legitimacy of absentee voting.

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

Lake did not say whether she will seek the 2024 GOP nomination for the U.S. 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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