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.

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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.

Will Kari Lake win her election challenge?

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.

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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.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith