A judge in Arizona has dismissed a lawsuit from failed Republican candidate for Secretary of State Mark Finchem in which the plaintiff’s team sought a redo of the recently concluded race in which Finchem lost.
Finchem made this request in connection to a wide range of allegations, including contentions that outgoing Secretary of State Katie Hobbs failed to secure the necessary certifications for use of tabulation equipment utilized in the midterm elections — although evidence shows she did. Theories about the lack of an appropriate certification for use of election equipment also drove the eventually undone decision by county board members in Cochise County, Arizona, to delay certifying their county’s results from this year’s elections, which defied their legal obligations. As for Finchem, he even alleged there was likely involvement by Hobbs in the temporary suspension of his Twitter account earlier this year, something for which it’s utterly unclear there’s any supporting evidence. Even if supporting details emerged, it’s difficult to see how a brief suspension from a single social media site could reasonably warrant redoing an entire election.
The case was dismissed by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Melissa Julian, who also directed defense team members to soon file their requests for sanctions, under which Finchem’s team may become responsible for covering the other side’s legal fees. Julian finalized these conclusions on the same day of a lengthy hearing in which a lawyer for Finchem indicated he wasn’t overly concerned about the prospect of disbarment, considering he’s in his 70s.
In a separate case featuring Finchem and Kari Lake, who was this year’s Republican pick for governor in Arizona and also lost, Finchem’s team is also facing sanctions after the co-plaintiffs’ push for counting certain ballots in the state by hand — instead of using tabulation machines — failed. Federal Judge John Tuchi, who dealt with that case, observed the problem of Finchem and Lake pushing for election security measures while glossing over the steps Arizona authorities have already implemented to secure the state’s elections. Maricopa County’s team has now officially provided the amount they’re seeking under the sanctions in that case: $141,690.
There is no legal framework under Arizona law for conducting a runoff election in a statewide contest, although the Finchem lawyer — Daniel McAuley — compared what he was seeking in the just defeated case to runoffs, which are done elsewhere, including in Georgia. The problem, of course — well, one of the problems — is that you can’t just snap your fingers and create a new law because another state has one, not to mention the supposedly existentially destabilizing factors cited by Finchem in support of taking these extreme steps are just nonsense. Other failed Republican candidates in Arizona this year, including Lake and Abe Hamadeh, who was running for state Attorney General, have also filed lawsuits challenging their losses. Blake Masters, the Republican who lost in the state’s Senate race, is not pursuing similar cases in court.