Many GOP/MAGA candidates in the 2022 midterm elections ran on former President Trump’s untrue contention that Donald Trump was robbed of a rightful victory in the 2020 presidential election. The majority of those candidates, especially in swing states, lost their races, showing the limited appeal such politics has. Furthermore, most of the candidates who took that line and lost, including Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, agreed to concede their losses rather than claiming to have actually won.
Here Comes Kari Lake
Lake, a former news anchor in the Phoenix area, was favored to win for much of the cycle and was even talked about as a potential vice presidential pick for Donald Trump, should he once again win the Republican nomination.
But Lake lost, by about 17,000 votes, and after she lost, she repeated Trump’s pro-2020 actions: She refused to concede, she claimed massive fraud without any evidence, and she launched a series of lawsuits. And much like Trump, her forays into the courts in the matter have not been successful.
Just before Christmas, a judge ruled against Lake, rejected her main claims, and affirmed that Democratic candidate Katie Hobbs is indeed the state’s next governor.
“It bears mentioning that because of the requested remedy – setting aside the result of the election – the question that is before the Court is of monumental importance to every voter. The margin of victory as reported by the official canvass is 17,117 votes – beyond the scope of a statutorily required recount,” Superior Court Judge Peter A. Thompson wrote in his ruling. “A court setting such a margin aside, as far as the Court is able to determine, has never been done in the history of the United States.”
Indeed, the judge determined that it would not be done in his case, either. That’s because the case required Lake’s side to show that errors with voting and printers were intentional, and the court ruled that this was not demonstrated.
“The Court DOES NOT find clear and convincing evidence that such misconduct was intended to affect the result of the 2022 General Election,” the ruling said. “The Court DOES NOT find clear and convincing evidence that such misconduct did in fact affect the result of the 2022 General Election.”
Kari Lake has vowed to continue to appeal the ruling.
“My Election Case provided the world with evidence that proves our elections are run outside of the law,” the candidate said on Twitter. “This Judge did not rule in our favor. However, for the sake of restoring faith and honesty in our elections, I will appeal his ruling.”
Following that claim, Lake retweeted an even wilder claim on Monday: That the judge’s ruling had, in fact, been “ghostwritten” by the prominent Democratic lawyer Marc Elias.
The claim came from an op-ed on the conservative website TownHall, published Monday, stating that “legal experts believe his decision was ghostwritten, they suspect top left-wing attorneys like Marc Elias emailed him what to say.”
It’s not clear who these “legal experts” are, but it is needless to say no evidence that the judge’s ruling was ghostwritten by Democratic election lawyers.
“A few days ago I asked what conspiracy theory Kari Lake would offer for why she lost her election contest lawsuit. It is more insane than even I predicted,” Marc Elias himself tweeted Monday.
“There is no question that Plaintiff’s claims here were both ‘groundless’ and ‘not made in good faith,'” the motion for sanctions said. “As noted above. Plaintiff had decided well before the election that if the results did not favor her, she would deny that they were legitimate.”
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.