BY Randy DeSoto, The Western JournalJanuary 5, 2023
1 year ago

It's Not Over Yet: Kari Lake Election Challenge Moves Forward, Here Are the Judges

The Arizona Court of Appeals issued an order Tuesday in Republican candidate Kari Lake's election challenge in the November governor's race, setting a briefing schedule with Jan. 24 as the date for oral arguments, if the case goes forward.

“The case may be resolved, however, prior to that date if the panel declines to accept jurisdiction on the special action,” the court’s order said.

The judges assigned to the case are Maria Elena Cruz, Angela Paton and Peter Swann.

Cruz will be the presiding judge. She was appointed to the bench by then-Gov. Doug Ducey in 2017.

Paton is another appointee of the Republican Ducey, having been nominated in 2021, while Swann was appointed by Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano in 2008.

However, just because Ducey appointed the judges does not mean they are Republicans or conservative. He mostly appointed Republicans, but not always.

Cruz, in fact, is a Democrat from Yuma County, according to Ballotpedia.

Their party background does not necessarily indicate how they'll rule, but two Democrats to one Republican might not bode well in Lake's challenge of Democrat Gov. Katie Hobbs' win in the November election.

Lake's legal team filed a petition Sunday seeking to bypass the Court of Appeals and take her case directly to the Arizona Supreme Court.

All the justices sitting on the state's highest court were appointed by GOP Gov. Janet Brewer or Ducey.

Lake has pledged on multiple occasions that she will take her case all the way to the state Supreme Court if necessary.

On Christmas Eve, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson ruled in favor of Hobbs’ win despite evidence presented at trial of mass voter disenfranchisement on Election Day because of ballot printer and tabulation issues affecting 59 percent of polling locations.

Hours-long lines formed throughout the county as Arizonans tried to vote.

Lake argued that since Republicans voted 3-to-1 over Democrats on Election Day, what happened was large-scale vote suppression of her supporters.

The candidate told Just the News on Tuesday, "There is really no reason to put this on the appeals court when no matter what happens this will end up with the Arizona Supreme Court."

"[Katie Hobbs] was not duly-elected. I believe in free and fair, honest and transparent elections," Lake said.

"And I will not stop fighting until we get those in Arizona. This is about making sure the voice of Arizona is heard."

Lake is seeking a revote in Maricopa County.

There was interference on the field of play on Election Day, and the only remedy is a do-over.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Randy DeSoto, The Western Journal

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