Cases February 1, 2023

Hamadeh v. Mayes; Kentch v. Mayes – 2022 Election Contest (AZ)


Issue Areas

On Nov. 22, 2022, Arizona attorney general candidate Abe Hamadeh and the Republican National Committee filed a complaint against Hamadeh’s opponent, Kris Mayes; outgoing Secretary of State Katie Hobbs; and others in the Maricopa County Superior Court to contest the results of the 2022 Arizona attorney general election. This case was Hamadeh v. Mayes. States United served as pro bono co-counsel to defendant Secretary Hobbs, alongside Coppersmith Brockelman PLC.

On Nov. 26, Hobbs filed a motion to dismiss the case. Judge Randall H. Warner dismissed the case on Nov. 29, concluding that it had been filed prematurely, according to Arizona election statutes. 

The plaintiffs filed a second election contest, Kentch v. Mayes, in Mohave County Superior Court on Dec. 9. On Dec. 13, Hobbs again filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that Election Day irregularities in Maricopa County did not establish “misconduct” by election officials nor an “erroneous count of votes,” and that Hamadeh’s claims were based on pure speculation. Plaintiffs presented no evidence that any of the Election Day irregularities would have changed the outcome of the AG race.

Following oral argument on Dec. 19, Judge Lee Jantzen dismissed one count but allowed the remaining counts to proceed to an evidentiary hearing that was held on Dec. 23.  

Plaintiffs conceded that they could not succeed on their claims following a limited inspection of ballots that occurred before the hearing. Jantzen ruled from the bench on Dec. 23 in the defendants’ favor, rejecting the election contest and confirming Mayes’s victory over Hamadeh in the 2022 Arizona attorney general election. 

Latest Update

On Jan. 3, 2023, the plaintiffs filed a motion for a new trial, followed by an amended version on Jan. 4, which remains pending. 

As of early 2023, States United no longer represents the office of the Secretary of State in this case.

Judge Jantzen set a hearing for May 16, 2023.

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