Kari Lake Sues Arizona’s Largest County, Seeking to Overturn Her Defeat
A number of those cited as experts in the lawsuit and one of the lawyers who filed the case — Kurt Olsen — are part of a loose election-denial network led by Mike Lindell, the pillow company entrepreneur who has been pushing conspiracy theories about election machines since early 2021. Another Lake lawyer, Bryan Blehm, represented the contractor Cyber Ninjas during the partisan audit of Maricopa County’s 2020 election results last year and also represented supervisors in Cochise County this year in a lawsuit over an attempt to carry out a hand-counted audit plan.
Ms. Lake’s legal action came as lawsuits were also filed Friday by two other Arizona Republicans who lost their midterm elections: Mark Finchem, who ran for secretary of state, and Abe Hamadeh, the attorney general candidate. Mr. Hamadeh, who is trailing his opponent by 511 votes in a race that is undergoing a recount, was joined in his lawsuit by the Republican National Committee.
Mr. Hamadeh previously filed suit late last month seeking to overturn the election, but the suit was dismissed by a Maricopa County judge for being filed prematurely. His new suit — filed in Mohave County, a Republican stronghold where he won 75 percent of the vote — is more narrow than Ms. Lake’s, claiming that it is not questioning the election’s validity. But, as with Ms. Lake, Mr. Hamadeh is seeking an order overturning the election results and declaring him the winner, claiming he is not alleging widespread fraud but rather “certain errors and inaccuracies.” On Twitter late Friday, Mr. Hamadeh wrote that “Maricopa County faced unprecedented and unacceptable issues on Election Day.”
Dan Barr, a lawyer for Mr. Hamadeh’s opponent, Kris Mayes, said the lawsuit was “based on speculation” and contained “no real facts.” He said he planned to file motions to dismiss it and move it to Maricopa County early next week.
Mr. Finchem, one of several secretary of state candidates around the country who denied the results of the 2020 presidential race, lost by more than 120,000 votes. In his suit, filed in Maricopa County, Mr. Finchem alleged that Arizona had “failed miserably” to administer a “full, fair, and secure election” and asked that the court declare the election “annulled” and name him the winner.
That suit was filed by Daniel McCauley, who also represented Cochise County in its recent failed attempt to deny certification of the election results.
One of Ms. Lake’s lawyers, Mr. Olsen, was also involved in an earlier federal lawsuit brought unsuccessfully on behalf of Ms. Lake and Mr. Finchem. It was filed before the Nov. 8 election, but earlier this month a federal judge found that it made “false, misleading and unsupported factual assertions” about election systems. The judge said those misleading assertions warranted sanctions. He said he would determine who among the lawyers involved in the case should be sanctioned at a later date.