Arizona’s Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake is continuing her onslaught of opponent Katie Hobbs, the Democrat secretary of state, who is refusing to debate.
The saga, which has been taking place for weeks, has mostly revolved around Hobbs’ unwillingness to share a stage with Lake.
Last week, as the deadline approached for Hobbs to tell the Arizona Clean Elections Commission whether she would debate, she instead suggested a town hall forum. That idea was quickly shut down by the commission, leading Hobbs to officially bow out of any official debate.
“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 a statement from her campaign.
She called Lake a “conspiracy theorist” and said that debating her “would only lead to childish name-calling.”
Tuesday, Lake shot back, offering to extend the deadline for Hobbs to accept the invitation until the day of the debate itself.
“For the first time in the history of our state there will be no Clean Elections gubernatorial debate,” said Lake. Bucking state tradition, my opponent Katie Hobbs has made it official: she will not share a debate stage with me under any circumstance.”
To be honest, I’m not entirely thrilled with the idea of sharing a debate stage with a twice-convicted racist like Katie Hobbs. I have made it abundantly clear that I would do so because the Arizona voters deserve nothing less than to hear from both of us.
Now I’d like to speak directly to you, Katie.
You think this issue is going to go away – that Arizonans will just throw up their hands and say, ‘oh well, no debate this year.’ Well, you’re sorely mistaken. I have asked the clean elections commission to extend the deadline for you to confirm your attendance to the day of the debate. Should you grow a spine between now and October 12, there will be an empty chair waiting for you on the debate stage.
Hobbs has yet to respond to Lake’s latest invitation.
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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 “Kari Lake” by The Kari Lake.