Arizona Judge Rejects Republicans’ Attorney General Election Contest
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday, Dec. 23, 2022, an Arizona judge rejected an election contest filed by Abraham Hamadeh, the Republican candidate for Arizona attorney general and a known election denier, along with two Arizona voters and the Republican National Committee. The contest — which Hamadeh brought against Kris Mayes (D), the newly elected Arizona attorney general, then-Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) and 15 county recorders and boards of supervisors — challenged the results of the 2022 election for Arizona attorney general. Hamadeh’s contest requested “judicial intervention” to ensure the candidate who “received the highest number of lawful votes is declared the next Arizona Attorney General,” which Hamadeh believed to be himself. On Dec. 29, the results of a mandatory recount confirmed Mayes’ victory over Hamadeh by a margin of 280 votes, rather than 511 votes as originally reported.
On Dec. 20, a judge dismissed one of the claims alleged in Hamadeh’s election contest, but allowed the remaining four claims to move forward. Arguments over merits of these four remaining claims of alleged Election Day misconduct — including erroneously counted ballots and election board misconduct, wrongful exclusion of provisional ballots, inaccurate ballot duplications and improper electronic ballot adjudication — were presented at an evidentiary hearing held on Dec. 23.
At the end of the hearing, the judge ruled from the bench and rejected Hamadeh’s four outstanding claims. In addition to denying the merits of Hamadeh’s election contest, Arizona courts similarly rejected contests brought by other Arizona election deniers including Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and Republican secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem. Ultimately, Arizona election deniers lost not only their 2022 statewide races but also their post-election legal battles challenging the results of such races, indicating that election denialism failed both on the ballot and in the courts. On Jan. 2, 2023, Mayes was officially sworn in as Arizona attorney general.