A Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled Monday that Arizona Republican Gary Lake, who ran for governor last month, will be allowed to stand trial on two short-lived claims. An election case.
Judge Peter Thompson ruled that most of Lake’s claims – 8 out of 10 – would be dismissed immediately in his initial complaint. Maricopa County’s motion to dismiss does not present evidence or testimony. But in two cases, the judge found that Lake should be allowed to proceed to a trial to prove intentional misconduct.
Lake lost to Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, by about 17,000 votes.
A judge dismissed a charge involving Election Day printers, allowing the Lake campaign to support its claim that a Maricopa County employee tampered with Election Day printers that cost her votes.
The judge will allow Lake’s team to present evidence that Maricopa County violated the election manual. The Lake campaign says an unknown number of ballots were added, resulting in his loss. The judge called the claim a dispute of fact rather than law, so Lake should be allowed to present his evidence in court.
Although most of his cases were dismissed, Lake tweeted, “Our election case is going to trial. Katie Hobbs tried to throw out our case. She must take the stand and testify.
He added: “Arizona, we’ll see our day in court!”
Lake tweeted links to a fundraising site, urging followers to send money to support his legal effort.
The judge also ruled that Hobbs could be called to testify in his capacity as acting secretary of state until he is sworn in as governor.
Democratic attorney Mark Elias, whose legal team represents Hobbs, framed the court ruling as a victory, pointing out that most of the claims were dismissed and that the investigation remains largely blocked. “It is impossible for Lake to prove intentional wrongdoing and that it affected the outcome of the election,” Elias tweeted.
Arizona law mandates strict deadlines in election-related lawsuits. The judge ordered the two-day trial to begin before January 2.