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An Arizona judge has rejected Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s last remaining legal claim in her lawsuit challenging her loss to Democrat Gov. Katie Hobbs in the 2022 midterm election.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter A. Thompson ruled late on Monday night that Lake’s team did not provide definitive evidence that the signature review process for mail-in ballots in Maricopa County was tainted by misconduct.
“Lake, a Trump-backed former TV journalist, lost the election to Hobbs by roughly 17,000 votes and sued claiming ballot printers in the county were inaccurate and signatures on mail-in ballots were not properly reviewed as required by state law. She has earned a significant following with Trump supporters and is openly considering a bid for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Kyrsten Sinema, a former Democrat now an Independent. Lake has also been rumored to be under consideration by former President Trump as a potential running mate for the 2024 presidential election,” Fox News reported.
“The Court finds that looking at signatures that, by and large, have consistent characteristics will require only a cursory examination and thus take very little time,” Thompson said.
“The question after the comparison is whether the signatures are consistent to the satisfaction of the recorder, or his designee. This, not the satisfaction of the Court, the satisfaction of a challenger, or the satisfaction of any other reviewing authority is the determinative quality for whether signature verification occurred,” the judge ruled. “It would be a violation of the constitutional separation of powers … for this Court after the recorder has made a comparison to insert itself into the process and reweigh whether a signature is consistent or inconsistent.”
Thompson held that Lake’s team failed to present sufficient evidence that the signature verification process in Maricopa County violated the law.
Earlier this month, the Arizona Supreme Court ordered proceedings in her case challenging Maricopa County signature verification processes in the 2022 election to take place “forthwith” while also denying defendants’ attorneys fees and granting one sanction.
Lake’s lawsuit was reviewed by the Arizona Supreme Court in March, which remanded one of her seven counts back to the trial court and allowed the consideration of sanctions against her.
The remanded count pertained to Lake’s claim that Maricopa County violated its signature verification policies during the 2022 election, the outlet’s report continued.
“The signature verification allegation was remanded to the Maricopa County Superior Court, which was waiting on the high court to determine if she must pay sanctions to Hobbs and Fontes regarding her claim of 35,563 unaccounted early ballots being added to Maricopa County’s final tally,” the report said.
Lake recently teased what’s in store for her in the near future in a series of social media posts and interviews as speculation increases that she is eying a U.S. Senate run next year.
In a tweet on Wednesday, Lake wrote, “Are you ready for the next chapter?” — in a post that included a photo of her silhouetted on a stage with a state flag as her backdrop.
“While Lake’s name has been floated as a vice presidential contender, there are also rumors she could be eyeing a Senate run and is leaning in on raising her national profile,” the Washington Examiner reported on Wednesday. “Much of her popularity comes from her cozy relationship with [former President Donald] Trump, whom she has wholeheartedly supported and unabashedly defended.”
And while Lake’s name has been floated as a possible 2024 running mate of Trump’s, she downplayed that Lake on Kimberly Guilfoyle’s Rumble show recently, explaining that she’s still focused on challenging the outcome of the gubernatorial election.
Lake is alleging that multiple election day glitches and snafus as scores of polling places disenfranchised her voters and cost her the election.
“Once it runs through the courts, then I’ll make my next move, and hopefully, my next move is moving into the governor’s office,” she told Guilfoyle, a former Fox News personality. “But if for some reason it’s so far gone, then I certainly will look at the Senate race.”