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Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs speaks in Phoenix on Dec. 14, 2020.
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs speaks in Phoenix on Dec. 14, 2020.Ross D. Franklin / AP file

Arizona Democrat Hobbs says she won't debate GOP opponent

Katie Hobbs' campaign said a debate with GOP gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake, would lead to "pointless distractions."


Arizona Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, the party's gubernatorial nominee, won't debate Republican nominee Kari Lake, with her campaign saying it wouldn't be fruitful to debate "a conspiracy theorist."

Hobbs's campaign has been in a back and forth for weeks with the Citizens Clean Elections Commission, which runs some of the major nonpartisan debates in the state. Last week, the commission declined Hobbs' request to hold town-hall style interviews instead of a debate, according to the Associated Press, leading to Hobbs campaign manager Nicole DeMont putting out a statement Sunday that concluded: "We must respectfully decline the invitation."

"Debating a conspiracy theorist like Kari Lake — whose entire campaign platform is to cause enormous chaos and make Arizona the subject of national ridicule — would only lead to constant interruptions, pointless distractions, and childish name-calling," DeMont said.

Lake has spent the past few weeks criticizing Hobbs for her unwillingness to debate, at one point telling the Democrat she could have control over all of the details of a debate if she agreed to one.

In a statement last week, Lake said "it's becoming clearer everyday [sic] 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."