Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs has faced high campaign staff turnover, and former employees have pointed to an “emotionally abusive” environment, according to a new report.
The Arizona Agenda, which describes itself as “an insider publication for political outsiders,” spoke to former employees of the Hobbs campaign and originally detailed the controversy.
According to the report, eight out of 12 campaign staff members have left the venture since March, as the Democratic primary draws closer.
The departures began shortly after Hobbs hired campaign manager Nicole DeMont, who – according to the former staffers – has created a harsh environment.
DeMont joined the campaign after Hobbs came under fire for her connection to a discrimination lawsuit filed by a former aide to State Senate Democrats. As previously reported, Talonya Adams, a black woman, alleged that she was underpaid and fired after detailing that she earned less money than her co-workers. The judicial branch has agreed with Adams in two separate trials and awarded her millions in damages for discrimination.
The report detailed that DeMont’s “authoritarian” management style pushed the staffers away.
“I welcome tough management – I think a lot of people do,” one former staffer told the news publication. “But what she did wasn’t tough. It was abusive and exploitive [sic].”
The former staffers and critics of Hobbs argue her inability to control the campaign manager and her previous controversy relating to disgruntled employees may indicate that Hobbs is unfit to lead the state.
“Wherever Katie Hobbs goes she leaves a trail of demeaned and abused staffers,” said RGA spokesman Will Reinert. “If two-thirds of Hobbs’ campaign staff quit the summer before Election Day because of the emotionally abusive environment she allowed to fester, it’s unimaginable what that would mean for the 40,000 Arizona state employees if she were ever allowed to become governor.”
Hobbs is a heavy favorite in Tuesday’s primary election. She will likely face the winner of the Republican primary in the November general election.
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