After the Arizona Clean Elections Commission rejected Democrat Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’ proposal for dueling town halls with Republican gubernatorial opponent Kari Lake, Hobbs has officially declined a formal debate.
“We must respectfully decline the invitation,” said a statement from the Hobbs campaign.
“Secretary Hobbs remains willing and eager to participate in a town hall style event, such as the forum she participated in last week in which Arizonans were able to hear directly from Sec. Hobbs about her in depth policy plans and how she would approach governing this state,” according to the statement.
She went on to call Lake a “conspiracy theorist” and said that debating her “would only lead to childish name-calling.”
“Arizonans deserve so much better than Kari Lake, and that’s why we’re confident Katie Hobbs will be elected our next governor,” Hobbs said.
Lake fired at Hobbs, saying she will debate anyway.
“Kari will keep her promise to the voters and debate, The empty chair across from her will show Arizonans just how little Katie Hobbs cares about them,” she tweeted.
"Kari will keep her promise to the voters and debate, The empty chair across from her will show Arizonans just how little Katie Hobbs cares about them."https://t.co/6JFYG7bmqm
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) September 12, 2022
Last week, when the Clean Elections Commission turned down Hobbs’ plan for a town hall, Lake also took a swing at her Democrat opponent.
“It’s becoming clearer everyday that Hobbs’ strategy is to hide from me, the Press, and Voters throughout the entirety of this campaign and run out the clock on the people of Arizona. Fortunately, the Clean Elections Commission refused to play into her game and voted down her proposal for a town hall safe space,” Lake said in a statement released last week. “I will take part in the debate format that I already agreed to, and if Katie Hobbs grows a spine between now and October 12th, she is welcome to join me!”
Last week, the pair attended an event together. It was hosted by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. But still, Hobbs would not share a stage with Lake, again drawing the ire of the latter candidate.
“I was supposed to be up on stage with [Katie Hobbs] at this Arizona Chamber of Commerce forum. Instead, I’m watching from the Audience because she’s a coward. I’ll be speaking next, stay tuned!” Lake said on Twitter during the event, adding a photograph of Hobbs speaking solo on the stage.
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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Katie Hobbs” by Katie Hobbs. Photo “Kari Lake” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “Arizona State Capitol” by Hoozdoh. CC BY-SA 3.0.