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Tom Petty’s estate slams Kari Lake’s ‘failed’ campaign over ‘unauthorized’ song use


(WASHINGTON) — In a scathing statement, Tom Petty’s estate on Thursday night threatened to sue Arizona Republican Kari Lake’s “failed” campaign after it used Petty’s song, “I Won’t Back Down,” in a video this week, days after Lake’s opponent, Katie Hobbs, was projected to win the race for governor.

“The Tom Petty estate and our partners were shocked to find out that Tom’s song, ‘I Won’t Back Down’ was stolen and used without permission to promote Kari Lake’s failed campaign,” Petty’s estate said in a statement. “This is illegal. We are exploring all of our legal options to stop this unauthorized use of Tom’s beloved anthem.”

Lake had tweeted a video Wednesday of campaign trail highlights put to two minutes of the song from the late singer-songwriter.

Since the statement from Petty’s estate, the video tweet has been removed from Lake’s account. The Lake campaign did not immediately return an ABC News request for comment.

The warning comes days after singer-songwriter Issac Hayes’ estate said it was exploring legal options after former President Donald Trump played a song co-written by Hayes Tuesday at Mar-a-Lago when announcing his 2024 bid.

It’s also not the first time an artist has gotten angry with Lake.

Early in her campaign, when Lake previously walked out to “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister, the band’s frontrunner, Dee Snider, publicly blasted what he said was her unauthorized use of it.

“As the songwriter & singer I DENOUNCE EVERYTHING @KariLake STANDS FOR!” Snider tweeted in August. “It was you and people like you that inspired every angry word of that song!”

With both Trump and Lake facing threats of legal challenges from artists’ estates, they also appear to be conferring on Lake’s own legal options from his Mar-a-Lago club, following her projected loss this week.

After long refusing to commit to accepting the results of her race if she lost, Lake also tweeted another video Thursday to say that she’s “still in this fight” and has legal minds exploring “every avenue,” while the latest statewide results have her down by 16,780 votes.

“Now I am busy here collecting evidence and data,” Lake said, after falling relatively silent since Hobbs’ projection. “Rest assured, I have assembled the best and brightest legal team, and we are exploring every avenue to correct the many wrongs that have been done this past week. I’m doing everything in my power to right these wrongs.”

Lake speaks directly to the camera in the two minutes and 27-second video, first telling supporters, “I wanted to reach out to you to let you know that I’m still in this fight with you.”

“My resolve to fight for you is higher than ever,” she says.

Lake traveled to Florida overnight Wednesday to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, two people connected to the campaign told ABC News, and attended a luncheon Thursday hosted by Trump’s America First Policy Institute.

Hobbs, meanwhile, is focused on her transition, her campaign manager told ABC News Thursday, when asked about Lake’s videos and resolve to “fight.”

“Governor-elect Katie Hobbs is laser-focused on her transition, building a team that is ready to hit the ground running on Day One,” said Nicole DeMont, Hobbs’ campaign manager. “Arizonans made their voices heard on November 8th, and we respect the will of the voters.”

The statewide canvass of results is set for Dec. 5 in Arizona, leaving Lake a small window of time to bring any legal challenges.

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