By Allan Stein
TUCSON, Ariz.—Democratic candidate for Arizona governor Katie Hobbs has refused to debate her Republican opponent Kari Lake ahead of the Nov. 8 mid-term election, with her campaign telling local media she won’t argue with a “conspiracy theorist.”
Instead, Hobbs, Arizona’s secretary of state, requested a “town hall-style” format where each candidate would sit for a 30-minute interview in a controlled setting.
“Secretary Hobbs remains willing and eager to participate in a town hall style event, such as the forum she participated in September in which Arizonans were able to hear directly from Secretary Hobbs about her in-depth policy plans and how she would approach governing this state,” wrote Nicole DeMont, Hobbs’ campaign manager, in a letter to the Citizens Clean Elections Commission in Phoenix.
The commission sponsors public debates each election cycle so Arizona voters can better gauge the candidates running for office.
“Unfortunately, debating a conspiracy theorist like Kari Lake—whose entire campaign platform is to cause enormous chaos and make Arizona the subject of national ridicule—would only lead to constant interruptions, pointless distractions, and childish name-calling,” DeMont said in the letter.
“We must respectfully decline the invitation.”
Lake called Hobbs’ refusal to debate her one-on-one a political act of “cowardice” on social media.
Either way, it appears the voters will never get the chance to hear these two ideologically opposed gubernatorial candidates debate in a public forum, pitting their ideas—and political agendas—against one another.
Debates Are ‘Critical’
The political debate is perhaps as old as politics itself. It’s an opportunity for the voters to gauge the candidates’ image, honesty, and substance.
It’s considered democracy.
“Debates are a critical tool for voters to learn directly from the candidates about where they stand on the issues,” said Clean Elections voter education director Gina Roberts.
“Voters are often inundated with messaging from different sources during the election season, and debates offer voters a direct line of communication with the candidates.”
Roberts told The Epoch Times that Clean Elections has a successful history of providing voters with access to statewide and legislative candidate debates, “along with an opportunity to submit their questions for the candidates.”
“Most recently, a poll commissioned by Clean Elections identified debates as a primary source of election information for general election voters,” Roberts added.
Clean Elections rejected Hobbs’ request for a town hall-style format. What seems to have evolved in this debate-free environment are two separate campaign strategies for reaching out to Arizona’s committed and undecided voters.
Trump-endorsed candidate Lake recently went on the road with a series of live “Ask Me Anything” events, where voters can ask her any question about the campaign’s issues.
“It’s all politics right now, and politics matter. This is just a job interview, and you guys are the hiring managers. I’m applying for a job interview, and we’re taking the job interview on the road since my opponent is hiding in her basement,” Lake said at a packed “Ask Me Anything” session at Whiskey Roads Restaurant in Tucson on Oct. 2.
“Somebody ran into her in a Starbucks, and they asked her a question, ‘Why don’t you do an interview and debate Kari Lake?’ She said I’m not answering anything. Here we are, answering everything.”
Lake is unapologetically pro-life and opposes progressive education that includes transgenderism and Critical Race Theory. She supports the Second Amendment, border security, school choice, and election integrity with the campaign slogan, “Don’t California Our Arizona.”
Hobbs is a former Arizona state senator, and a social worker whose politics are decidedly progressive. She was elected Arizona’s secretary of state in 2018, presiding over Arizona’s controversial 2020 presidential election which turned up numerous ballot discrepancies resulting in a Republican state-Senate sponsored election audit in 2021.
Hobbs has vowed on her website that on “day one” as governor, she would repeal Arizona’s 1901 law banning abortion and replace it with one that is “in line with the beliefs of the vast majority of Arizonans.”
She supports making state government more “inclusive” by hiring and promoting more people of color, creating the position of chief equity officer and civil rights policy adviser, and addressing state payroll inequities.
Polls Show Tight Race
Hobbs appears to have adopted a more low-key strategy rather than meet Lake head-on in a public debate. In early August, she met with constituents during a meeting with labor union leaders.
“Good coffee. Bagels. Getting to sit down and speak with Arizona’s union leaders about real challenges we’re facing,” Hobbs said in a post on Twitter on Aug. 9.
“Couldn’t think of a better way to start my morning than at the ADP Labor Breakfast.”
The latest polls show Lake and Hobbs nearly deadlocked, with Lake, a former Fox10 news anchor, leading Hobbs 46 percent to 45 percent among voters.
Both candidates are also running close in fund-raising: Hobbs has garnered $5 million compared to Lake at just under $4 million.
The winner in the general election will succeed Arizona’s two-term Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, who cannot seek re-election due to the state’s term limits.
Neither Lake nor Hobbs responded to a request for comment through their respective campaigns.
Affiliate News Feeds
- Washington Examiner
- The Federalist
- The Epoch Times
- The Guardian
- The Gateway Pundit
- Judicial Watch
By Tom Ozimek Protesters claiming voter disenfranchisement and a stolen election rallied near the Arizona state Capitol on Friday, demanding that the planned Nov. 28 certification of the 2022 election be halted and a… [...]
By Tom Ozimek Thin crowds of inflation-weary shoppers hunted for Black Friday deals, with foot traffic remaining sparse in many malls across the country as Americans instead flocked online, where… [...]
Custom website and graphic designer Lorie Smith doesn't want to be forced to create websites for same-sex weddings due to her Christian faith, an issue the Supreme Court will debate… [...]
You might be hard-pressed to come by Santa this year — just another long-term effect of the pandemic wreaking havoc on employee shortages. The average working Santa is of a… [...]
Advent draws us away from the spirit-stifling societal frenzy and into the quiet, where we can commune with God. [...]
YouTube deleted the video comparing Trump's statements questioning the 2020 election results to Democrats questioning the 2016 contest. [...]
PHOENIX, Ariz.—They came. They sat. They protested, and they left. Few in attendance expected the disappointingly low turnout at a well publicized “sit-in” demonstration to demand a new midterm election… [...]
California Gov. Gavin Newsom talked about his plan for 2024 recently during an interview with Politico, as speculation circulated that he will run. Newsom, 55, reportedly told the White House… [...]
First such accord after leaving EU was predicted to bring £15bn boost but UK now lags rivalsThe first major free trade agreement signed by Britain after Brexit has been branded… [...]
Findings come amid mounting evidence that the poorest people in the UK are paying a ‘poverty premium’ for basic servicesMillions of households will be paying almost a third of their… [...]
The new Republican controlled House is going to engage in a number of investigations. Rep. Steve Scalise, who is going to be the new majority leader recently detailed the topics… [...]
Neoconservative war hawk John Bolton is trashing former President Donald Trump and championing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for the White House in 2024. Trump has already announced his candidacy, while… [...]
From Washington Examiner: San Francisco’s district attorney has refused to release public documents and video of Paul Pelosi’s attack to conservative watchdog Judicial Watch, instead directing the group to a… [...]