US judge denies request to sanction Republican governor candidate | US Midterm Elections 2022 News
Arizona Governor-elect Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, has sought sanctions against Republican rival Kari Lake over allegations of voter fraud.
A US judge has denied a request to sanction Kari Lake, the Republican candidate in the Arizona gubernatorial race, over allegations she made when questioning the legitimacy of the election. state.
But on Tuesday, Judge Peter Thompson of Maricopa County Superior Court ruled that Lake would be liable to pay more than $33,000 to her opponent, Democrat Katie Hobbs, for development costs. birth through expert witnesses and ballot checks.
The decision was made a few days later Thompson throws out a lawsuit that Lake filed to protest her narrow defeat in the race for governor in November. Hobbs won that election equals about 17,000 votes in a state with more than 4 million registered voters.
Tuesday’s decision came after Hobbs filed a motion to sanction Lake, who denied the election, for claims she described as “groundless and in bad faith.” .
Hobbs sought a financial penalty of about $695,000 to cover attorneys’ fees and other expenses, both as governor-elect and current secretary of state of Arizona, a role responsible for oversight. elections.
But Judge Thompson dismissed Hobbs’ argument. He concluded that Lake’s “failure to meet the burden of clear and convincing evidence” does not mean that her claims are “groundless or baseless and presented in an unkind manner.” solstice”.
Thompson wrote in his ruling: “There is no doubt that each side firmly believes in its position with strong conviction.
Lake, a former TV personality, was a political novice when she announced her campaign for governor of Arizona, an increasingly competitive swing state. She is part of a group of candidates Supported by former President Donald Trump run in November midterm elections.
Refusing to vote became a central focus of her campaign. She even released a TV ad denouncing the media for not covering “the biggest story out there: the 2020 election fraud.”
That election saw the Democratic nominee Joe Biden wins beat incumbent Trump in the presidential race. Biden almost overtakes Trump in Arizona, despite Trump’s false claim to have won the state. Lake joined the call to confirm Biden’s victory in the state.
Despite claims that her campaign “is going to win big,” Lake herself fell behind Hobbs in the final vote count of the November midterm elections. She took to social media to denounce the results and on December 9, she filed a lawsuit against the court to declare her the winner or order a new election.
In her 70-page legal filing, Lake took aim at a number of election day issues, including long queues at polling places and printer problems in Maricopa County, the most populous county. of the state.
But her legal appeal was seen as a long shot. Not only does she have to prove wrongdoing, but she also has to prove that the wrongdoing was intentionally denying her victory.
Meanwhile, Governor-elect Hobbs released a statement on Twitter calling the lawsuit “Lake’s latest desperate attempt to undermine our democracy and disprove the will of the voters.”
Although Judge Thompson dismissed Lake’s case on December 24, he acknowledged the “anger and frustration” voters faced on election day.
“But it’s not just the task of this Court to listen to public outcry,” Thompson said. “It is about bringing the Plaintiffs’ claims and Defendant’s actions to the light of the courtroom and the scrutiny of the law.”
Thompson also noted that ignoring valid election results “has never been done in American history.”
Since then, Lake has promised to continue her legal battle, denouncing what she calls “rigged elections”.
“My election case has provided the world with evidence that our elections were conducted outside the law,” she wrote on Twitter. “This Judge has not ruled in our favor. However, to restore trust and honesty in our elections, I will appeal his ruling.”
Hobbs will be sworn in on January 5.