Democratic nominee Katie Hobbs has made official her refusal to share the stage with Trump-endorsed Kari Lake in their race for Arizona governor. Hobbs trails Lake in a closely contested race but has the baggage of presiding over the scandal-plagued 2020 election in the state.
Hobbs wrote a letter to Arizona’s Citizens Clean Election Commission calling out Lake’s campaigning on election integrity. That’s the reasoning presented to bow out of the General Election Debate — or any other debate platform.
The Arizona audit showed massive irregularities in the state’s 2020 presidential election, and Lake emphasized this during the GOP primary debate.
Hobbs’ campaign manager, Nicole DeMont, accused Lake of not revealing plans to move the state forward but rather focusing on the previous election. That apparently was enough to preclude a live debate.
Democrat Katie Hobbs formally refuses to debate Kari Lake in Arizona governor race | Just The News https://t.co/ZRSkcRwkfz
— John Solomon (@jsolomonReports) September 3, 2022
For her part, Lake is willing to debate at any point. In fact, the GOP candidate agreed to let Hobbs choose the moderator and write all the questions. That’s as accommodating as an office-seeker could ever be, but still it’s not enough to get the Secretary of State into a face-to-face debate.
Apparently the late-night comedians who substitute for serious political thinkers on the leftist side poked fun at the GOP primary debates.
This was enough to show Hobbs that she is not stooping to take the stage with her GOP challenger, even though she trails slightly in the polls.
Hobbs is proposing a much different format from a debate. Instead, the Citizens Clean Elections Commission would go to a modified town hall and she would be given scripted questions by PBS host Ted Simons. There would be no face-to-face with Lake and no back-and-forth answers.
Another issue that Lake says is keeping Hobbs away from a real debate forum is that the Secretary of State has twice been found guilty of racism and discrimination against employees. Lake said that racism cost Arizona taxpayers $3 million.
Kari Lake went as far as a candidate could go to allow Hobbs to choose the time, place, format, and even questions she would receive, but it was not enough. It is tough to think of a situation where a public official has tried so hard to avoid being face-to-face with an opponent before a crucial election.