On Tuesday, December 27, Maricopa County Judge Peter Thompson ordered far-right MAGA Republican and conspiracy theorist Kari Lake to compensate Democratic Gov.-Elect Katie Hobbs for some of the legal expenses she incurred because of her lawsuit challenging the election results of Arizona’s 2022 gubernatorial race. This ruling came only three days after Thompson rejected the lawsuit, ruling that Hobbs’ victory was perfectly legitimate and that there was no evidence of misconduct in the election as Lake claimed. Lake is appealing Thompson’s ruling and is seeking a review from the Arizona Supreme Court.
Hobbs had requested sanctions against Lake, arguing that her lawsuit challenging the election results was frivolous. Thompson, however, decided against sanctioning Lake, although Lake’s legal team was sanctioned by U.S. District Judge John Tuchi in a separate lawsuit.
The fact that Lake sued Hobbs in the hope of overturning her victory came as no surprise. Lake campaigned on the Big Lie, promoting the false and debunked claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump through widespread voter fraud. But outgoing Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a conservative Republican, congratulated Hobbs on her victory and promised to help with the transition from the Ducey Administration to a new Hobbs Administration.
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Lake’s campaign made her a major figure in the MAGA movement, but some Republicans have grown fed up with her election lawsuits — which so far, have been unsuccessful. And in an article published by The Hill on December 30, journalist Zach Schonfeld reports that some Arizona Republicans are “expressing doubts about” her political future in their state.
One of them is Arizona-based GOP consultant Chuck Coughlin, who believes that Lake’s refusal to accept the gubernatorial election results may be hurting her politically.
Coughlin told The Hill, “It’s done in Arizona. I think the enormous amount of ill will that she’s going to create as a result of the appeal — I mean, it’s OK to file a case, but then, some of the stuff she’s been saying on media and posts and just the degradation of the Arizona institutions — I think is really going to hurt her out here. And I don’t really think she’s got a future in terms of her own electoral space here in Arizona.”
Coughlin, however, did tell The Hill that Lake could be a “spokesperson for a Trump candidacy” in the 2024 presidential election. Trump announced his 2024 campaign in November and is seeking the GOP nomination, although some right-wing pundits — including firebrand author Ann Coulter — are making it clear that they would much prefer Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as a nominee, assuming he decides to run.
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Arizona-based Republican strategist Barrett Marson believes that Lake may be able to parlay her 2022 gubernatorial campaign into a new position in right-wing media.
“This whole campaign was just an audition for either RBSN, OANN, Newsmax, some conservative outlet,” Marson told The Hill. “And so, if that was her end goal, she obviously did pretty well. And she could probably get some sort of anchorship or gig on one of those channels.”
Some of Lake’s more ardent supporters would like to see Trump choose her as his running mate if he wins the 2024 nomination. Marson believes that Trump would be glad to have Lake campaign for him in Arizona, but he doubts that the former president would want her as a running mate.
Marson told The Hill, “If she had won this race, if she had become governor, yes. But now — you can be a lot of things in Trump World, but you can’t be a loser.”
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