Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey says ‘Katie Hobbs has got to show up’ for debate against Kari Lake

Oct 13, 2022, 10:15 AM | Updated: 1:07 pm

PHOENIX – Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said Thursday he wants Katie Hobbs, the Democrat aiming to succeed him, to stop dodging a head-to-head debate with Republican candidate Kari Lake.

“Katie Hobbs has got to show up for a debate,” Ducey told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show.

“If you want to be governor of the state, you have to be able to stand and deliver against an opponent. That’s been the price of admission for decades at all levels of our political atmosphere, and she, for whatever reason, refuses to do it. She refuses to get in the arena.”

Hobbs, Arizona’s current secretary of state, also declined to go head-to-head with Democratic opponent Marco Lopez in a primary debate, but she was heavily favored in that race and easily won the nomination. Polls are showing the governor’s race as a toss-up.

“She needs to show up and have the debate and the discussion with her opponent, and I’m looking forward to seeing it,” said Ducey, who has less than three months left in his second and final term.

Hobbs turned down the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission’s invitation to take part in a traditional debate with Lake, a former local TV news anchor. The Democrat has agreed to participate in the same event as her opponent only in forums or town halls where each candidate is interviewed separately.

“I am looking forward to the chance to make my case directly to the voters of Arizona, which is what I’ve continued to do throughout this campaign,” Hobbs told KTAR News on Thursday.

“Being a part of a Kari Lake spectacle is not going to do that and I’m not interested in embarrassing the state again, like what happened with the GOP primary debate.”

Lake and the other candidates constantly talked over each other and the moderator during the Republican primary debate. Video highlights went viral and were the target of national ridicule.

Ducey said that while voters committed to one party or the other already know which way they’ll vote in the Nov. 8 general election, debates can reach the kinds of voters who will play a key role in who wins a race.

“The debates are high stakes. A lot of people are worried about many other things besides who’s going to be the next governor, but they’ll carve out the time to watch that debate, to make a decision,” he said.

“Right now, Republicans are voting Republican, Democrats are voting Democrat. But it’s the independents and the undecideds who are going to make the decision, and that’s where the debate matters.”

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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey says ‘Katie Hobbs has got to show up’ for debate against Kari Lake