The electoral commission in Arizona has dismissed Democrat Katie Hobbs’s suggestion to hold a town hall event instead of debating with her opponent Republican Kari Lake as expected.
Democrat Katie Hobbs and Republican Kari Lake are both Arizona’s gubernatorial candidates for their parties. Recent polling has put the republican candidate ahead of Hobbs with about one point.
The voters of Arizona have looked forward to seeing the Democratic party and the GOP candidates debate each other since they started their campaigns. Though that has not happened, the people still hope to see the debates before the gubernatorial elections in November.
The democratic candidate Katie Hobbs proposed to have a town hall-style event instead of the regular debates the voters want to see. The town hall-style event will have each candidate answer questions separately for 30 minutes. However, the Citizens Clean Elections Commission rejected her proposal.
Commissioner Mark Kimble said, “We have a format that we have used for a number of years that has been successful, that has given the voters of Arizona the opportunity to compare and contrast the candidates face to face. It’s incumbent on us to say enough. This is the format that we have set up.”
Moving on, the CCEC gave Hobbs a seven-day deadline to agree to have the debate the usual way. The Republican candidate, Kari Lake, has already agreed to this, while Hobbs has not responded.
If Hobbs refuses to have this debate under the general framework, Lake will be interviewed on Live television for 30 minutes.
Hobb’s campaign manager Nicole DeMont sent a letter to the CCEC last week. According to the letter, Hobbs refused to have this regular debate with her opponent, who is already leading her in the polls. She claimed she does not want a repeat of the Republican primary election, which was held in June. According to the letter, that debate made Arizona a subject of national ridicule.
The letter said, “In the GOP primary debate, instead of talking about how she plans to move our state forward, Kari Lake brought almost every single answer back to lies about an election that happened almost two years ago. Arizonans are tired of partisan conspiracies about the 2020 election. Voters want solutions and a governor with real plans to drive our state forward for everyone.”
Following Hobb’s unwillingness to debate Lake, the republican candidate has asserted that Hobbs lacks confidence in her debating skills. Hobbs also refused to debate her primary opponent, Macro Lopez.
I attended the Arizona Gubernatorial Forum for candidates @KariLake and @katiehobbs hosted by @AZChamber
This is a picture of what ensued after the candidates finished their sessions. Lake stayed and took questions from media and attendees. Hobbs left the event early. pic.twitter.com/lZFkuB9fH3
— Grant Botma (@grantbotma) September 8, 2022
After the commission voted against Hobb’s proposal, Lake issued a statement. She said, “It’s becoming clearer every day that Hobbs’ strategy is to hide from Me, the Press, and the 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.”