After Democrat candidate for Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs’ refused to debate Lake in Arizona governor race, The Citizens Clean Elections Commission initiated an effort for staff to try to persuade Hobbs, currently secretary of state, to participate in the planned Oct. 12 debate by offering minor changes to the format.
However, the state commission that sets up candidate debates recently rejected Democrat Katie Hobbs’ request to change a planned debate with Republican governor candidate Kari Lake into separate interviews with a moderator. The Citizens Clean Elections Commission, which has held debates for two decades featuring candidates for statewide and legislative offices, rejected her significant proposal change.
On Sunday, Democrat Katie Hobbs’ campaign announced that she would not debate Republican Kari Lake as the two campaign for office of Arizona governor.
The statement released by the Hobbs campaign over the weekend said she “remains willing and eager to participate in a town hall style event,” like one put on by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where she and Lake were questioned separately.
Hobbs’ campaign manager addressed the commission before its decision, saying “I think it’s pretty clear that she only wants to create another spectacle, like we saw in the GOP primary debate,” campaign manager Nicole DeMont said.
Hobbs in not sticking to traditional political debate protocol, also skipped the Clean Elections debate with her Democratic primary challenger, Marco Lopez. He was interviewed alone.
Kari Lake has agreed to the debate in its current format and called out Hobbs for refusing to engage, calling her “a coward.” Kari said she was ready to hit the stage with Hobbs at any time, inviting her to pick the moderator and write all the questions.
“Kari will keep her promise to the voters and debate,” Trumble said in a statement. “The empty chair across from her will show Arizonans just how little Katie Hobbs cares about them.”
All other statewide candidates have agreed to participate in the televised Clean Elections debate series, including Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, who will debate Republican Blake Masters on Oct. 6.