Katie Hobbs reiterates she has no plans for an Arizona gubernatorial debate with Kari Lake

Oct 13, 2022, 4:04 PM
From left, Katie Hobbs and Kari Lake. (Getty Images Photos)...
From left, Katie Hobbs and Kari Lake. (Getty Images Photos)
(Getty Images Photos)

PHOENIX — One thing hasn’t changed for Arizona Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs despite this week’s debate saga — she doesn’t want to go head-to-head with Kari Lake.

Hobbs joined KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday and said her stance on having a traditional debate with her Republican counterpart hasn’t changed.

“All of her antics and tantrums just underscore the fact that she’s only interested in a spotlight and creating a spectacle,” Hobbs said.

“This does nothing to further the interests of the voters of Arizona, who are making an important decision in what might be the most important election in our state’s history.”

The two candidates were supposed to debate Wednesday, but Hobbs a month earlier announced she wasn’t going to participate.

That left Lake to have a 30-minute, 1-on-1 interview with moderator Ted Simons. The appearance was postponed indefinitely about two hours before air time on Wednesday after Lake and the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission, which puts on debates, were alerted that PBS had also granted a similar interview to Hobbs.

CCEC called the move “disappointing” and Lake said it was a “slap in the face.”

Hobbs said she plans to go through with her PBS interview, scheduled to be taped Tuesday, and added her campaign wasn’t dealing with the network on the low.

“I wasn’t involved in those conversations,” Hobbs said. “They [PBS] reached out. I don’t know if it was a call or an email, but 100% there was nothing behind the scenes.”

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is among those pushing for Hobbs to face off against Lake. He told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show, “Katie Hobbs has got to show up for a debate.”

Hobbs also didn’t debate in the primary, forgoing a matchup with Marco Lopez due to a scheduling conflict.

“We were focused in the primary on what we needed to do to win the general election,” Hobbs said. “I spent my time making my case directly to voters of the state.

“I think the outcome of that race tells you that we were on the right track there.”

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Katie Hobbs reiterates she has no plans for an Arizona gubernatorial debate with Kari Lake