Katie Hobbs won’t debate Lake Kari in Arizona governor’s race

Katie Hobbs, the Democratic candidate for governor, again refused an olive branch from the Citizens Clean Elections Commission and made it official on Sunday: she will not debate Kari Lake, the Republican candidate and former TV news anchor .

The action by Hobbs, Arizona’s secretary of state, is the latest twist in the week-long debate. Hobbs quoted the circus show of the GOP primary debate in June and Lake’s penchant for peddling debunked conspiracy theories in his refusal.

The commission rejected Hobbs’ compromise overtures after she suggested that each candidate have a 30-minute solo interview with Arizona Skyline moderator Ted Simons instead of a traditional debate. Thursday, the commission voted to give Hobbs an extra week to acquiesce.

It only took 48 hours for Hobbs to make up his mind.

“Unfortunately, debating a conspiracy theorist like Kari Lake – whose entire campaign platform is to cause enormous chaos and make Arizona a subject of national ridicule – would only lead to constant interruptions, unnecessary distractions and childish name-calling,” Hobbs’ campaign said. manager, Nicole DeMont, in a statement Sunday. “The people of Arizona deserve so much better than Kari Lake, and that’s why we’re confident Katie Hobbs will be elected our next governor.”

Refusing to debate, Hobbs gave Lake 30 minutes on Arizona PBS for an interview with Simons on October 12.

Sunday’s ruling likely nullified any debate ahead of the November election, which is planned to be a toss-up. DeMont noted that Hobbs “remains willing and eager to participate in a town hall-type event,” but the commission rendered those pleas futile last week.

During the Democratic primary, Hobbs also refused to debate his opponent Marco Lopez.

Josselyn Berry, spokesperson for the Arizona Democratic Party, declined to comment on whether the party agreed with Hobbs’ decision not to debate. “We’ll leave the comments from the Hobbs campaign standing,” she said.

In other statewide races, Democratic candidates have agreed to participate in televised debates hosted by the Elections Commission. Among them are US Senator Mark Kelly, who will debate Republican Blake Masters on October 6; Adrian Fontes, who will debate Republican Mark Finchem in the race for Secretary of State on September 22; and Kris Mayes, who will debate Republican Abe Hamadeh in the race for attorney general on September 28.

Democratic candidates for corporations commissioner, superintendent of public instruction and treasurer in Arizona also engaged in debates in September and October.

“Kari will deliver on his promise to voters and to the debate,” Lake campaign spokesman Ross Trumble said in a statement Sunday. “The empty chair in front of her will show Arizonans how much Katie Hobbs cares about them.”

Kyle Conklin, a 48-year-old self-proclaimed libertarian from Show Low, said Hobbs’ decision “is not a good look for her” and is “absolutely disrespectful to Arizona voters.”

“A debate is one of the most memorable aspects of every political cycle,” Conklin said. Phoenix New Times. “I still haven’t heard a solid reason from [Hobbs’] campaign why she is unwilling to debate Kari Lake. I don’t know why Katie Hobbs expects special treatment here when all the other major races are set to follow the traditional debate format.

The lack of debate between Hobbs and Lake worries even some Republicans.

“While it’s too bad we don’t see debate, the consequence is that Kari Lake will enjoy unfettered access to voters,” said Phoenix-based GOP consultant Barrett Marson. new times. “It is a loss for the voters not to attend a real debate. And it’s a loss for Katie Hobbs, which will not reach a large audience.

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