Kari Lake’s Christmas weekend is off to a sour start as a judge rejected her election challenge Saturday, formally declaring her the loser of the Arizona gubernatorial race.
The far-right Republican refused to concede the race after losing by more than 17,000 votes to Democrat Katie Hobbs. Instead, she spread conspiracies that the election was rigged, pointing her ire at Maricopa County—the state’s most populous—and Hobbs, who was the secretary of state.
Lake immediately tweeted that she would appeal the judge’s decision in an effort to restore “faith and honesty in our elections.”
The Daily Beast has reached out to Lake for comment.
Lake’s lawsuit demanded she be declared the winner of the race and focused on technical issues Maricopa County faced the day of the election that many on the right have pointed to as proof of fraud. On election day, a judge denied that the issues disproportionately affected Republicans, rejecting a request from the state GOP to extend voting hours last-minute.
Still, Lake’s lawyers baselessly argued “hundreds of thousands of illegal ballots infected” the vote. In recent days, Lake has escalated her attacks against Maricopa County officials, calling for them to be “locked up.”
The judge’s ruling is consistent with rulings in other election-denying Arizona Republican cases, with both failed secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem and attorney general candidate Abraham Hamadeh losing their election lawsuits as well.
Lake, a former television anchor who recently joked her pronouns are “I/won,” developed an extremist brand as a hardcore stop-the-steal zealot in 2020, and has pledged her loyalty to former president Donald Trump. Before the election, Lake refused to tell CNN anchor Dana Bash that she would accept the results of the election, instead telling her she’ll accept the results when she wins.
“For the past several years, our democracy and its basic guiding principles have been under sustained assault from candidates who just cannot or will not accept the fact that they lost,” Hobbs’ lawyer, Abha Khanna, said. “Kari Lake lost the election because, at the end of the day, she received fewer votes than Katie Hobbs.”
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