Republican candidate Abe Hamadeh has filed a quo warranto lawsuit against current Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes. Hamadeh announced the filing of this lawsuit with a message on X, formerly Twitter, saying “Arizonans deserve JUSTICE.”
The legal action aims to question the legitimacy of Kris Mayes’ occupancy of the office of Attorney General, citing concerns of usurpation and unlawful exercise of power. The legal dispute between Hamadeh and Mayes around the 2022 Arizona Attorney General election has been intricate and ongoing.
Hamadeh narrowly lost to Democrat Mayes by 280 votes.
“Kris Mayes has usurped, intruded into, or unlawfully holds or exercises the public office of Arizona’s Attorney General,” the lawsuit states.
🚨🚨NEW LAWSUIT FILED🚨🚨
Arizonans deserve JUSTICE.
My legal team has filed a writ of quo warranto to remove Kris Mayes from office.
— Abe Hamadeh (@AbrahamHamadeh) December 29, 2023
The use of a writ of quo warranto is particularly noteworthy, as it is a legal instrument traditionally employed to challenge the legitimacy of a public official’s authority.
Challenging the result, Hamadeh and the Republican National Committee have sought legal redress to ensure all votes were counted, including a special action with the state’s high court for a new trial. However, a judge dismissed Hamadeh’s initial request in July.
In a May hearing, Hamadeh’s attorney requested a review of ballots to identify undervotes, suspecting misreads in the attorney general race.
Judge Lee Jantzen of the Mohave County Superior Court, initially slow to rule, eventually issued a judgment after a joint effort by both parties. In this process, Mayes withdrew her request for costs, except for ballot inspection fees, resulting in Hamadeh being ordered to pay about $5,200.
The case also featured allegations of evidence withholding and tabulation issues. Over 75,000 undervote ballots were found, with Hamadeh’s team discovering uncounted votes during a ballot sample. These findings casted doubt on the election’s outcome, especially given the slim victory margin.
Furthermore, Governor Katie Hobbs, then secretary of state, was accused of concealing evidence from the court regarding tabulation problems in Pinal County, impacting Hamadeh’s initial election challenge and contributing to his loss in court last December.
Judge Jantzen’s April ruling kept Hamadeh’s challenge active, potentially leading to a new trial, seen as a win for his legal team. Hamadeh argued that flawed voting systems and procedures disenfranchised voters, demanding that these mistakenly discarded votes be counted.
Notably, evidence of Pinal County’s tabulation errors in the attorney general race, uncovered during a recount, came to light only after the initial court decision, which significantly narrowed Mayes’ lead in the official count.