Democratic Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs and Maricopa County sued Republican Kari Lake on Monday, less than 48 hours after a judge rejected Lake’s bid to be declared the winner of Arizona’s governor race.
Hobbs and the county sought sanctions against Lake and her legal team after a two-day trial in which an Arizona judge denied Lake’s bid to overturn the November election results. Lake, a prominent election denier and Trump supporter, was granted the right to go to trial last week on two of her ten claims, alleging misconduct with ballot printers and problems with the ballot chain of custody.
Lake’s challenge was denied after the trial by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson in a 10-page ruling on Saturday. He stated that the court found no clear and convincing evidence of misconduct that would have changed the outcome of the election. Thompson also noted that the defendants had stated their intent to seek sanctions against Lake, and he directed them to file a motion for sanctions by Monday morning.
Attorneys for Hobbs, Arizona’s secretary of state for four years, joined the county in seeking $25,050 from Lake, which includes Hobbs’ and the state’s most populous county’s attorney fees. Lake’s remarks prior to the election indicating she would not accept the results unless she won, as well as her “groundless” and “frivolous” lawsuit after the election was certified, were criticised by the county.
“Before a single vote was cast in the 2022 general election, Kari Lake publicly stated that she would accept the gubernatorial election results only if she was the winning candidate,” the county said in the filing.
“However, she has done more than simply fail to publicly acknowledge the election results. Instead, she filed a frivolous, seventy-page election contest lawsuit against the Governor-Elect, the Secretary of State, and Maricopa County and several of its elected officials and employees (but not any other county or its employees), dragging them and this Court into it.”
According to the county, the courts “should not be used to harass political opponents and sow completely unfounded doubts about the integrity of elections.”
“Enough is enough,” said the county. “It is past time to put an end to unfounded attacks on elections and unjustified accusations levelled against election officials. This matter was brought without any legitimate, let alone substantial, justification.”
Lake has been reached out to for comment by NBC News.