Arizona GOPer on Lake Suit: She Must Be 'Held Accountable'

Maricopa County recorder Stephen Richer says ex-governor candidate's lies hurt him, many others
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2023 1:55 PM CDT
Arizona GOPer on Lake Suit: She Must Be 'Held Accountable'
Kari Lake speaks during a CPAC conference in Budapest, Hungary, on May 5.   (Tibor Illyes/MTI via AP)

Like an Energizer Bunny custom-built for election denialism, Kari Lake continues to press on with her repeatedly debunked claim that Arizona's governor seat was stolen from her last November. Now she's being sued for her false remarks, by a fellow Arizona Republican who says he's had enough of her antics. "Rather than accept political defeat, rather than get a new job, she has sought to undermine confidence in our elections and has mobilized millions of her followers against me," Stephen Richer, the recorder for Maricopa County, where Lake insists there was misconduct at the polls, writes for regarding the defamation suit he filed Thursday against her. Richer claims Lake and her PAC have waged a "concerted campaign to defame, threaten, and isolate me," including accusing him of altering the images on ballots so that vote tabulators couldn't read them.

Richer also writes that Lake and Co. allege he slipped 300,000 invalid ballots into the total pile to cause her loss. "Both allegations are completely false," he notes, adding that he's not even the one responsible for printing (or overseeing the printing) of the ballots. Richer writes that Lake's comments and actions have sent "vitriol" his way, including in the form of death threats that have required him to increase security, and impacted everyone from election workers and cops to his own wife. But "Lake has not sent me into hiding. Nor will she ever," he asserts. Richer also shakes his head at the argument that what Lake is saying and doing is simply "freedom of speech." "Slinging mud is fair game," he writes. "[B]ut Arizona law and the First Amendment draw a line at defamation." He notes that he hopes his suit will cause "Lake, her campaign, and her PAC ... [to be] held accountable for their utter disregard for the truth and the grave harm they have caused." Richer's full piece here. (More Kari Lake stories.)

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