kari lake
Kari Lake Requests ‘Open Invitation’ For Opponent Katie Hobbs to Debate

September 12, 2022

By Corinne Murdock |

On Monday, GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake requested that Democratic opponent Katie Hobbs have an “open invitation” for a debate. Even if the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission (AZCCEC) allows an open invitation and extends their deadline, it’s unlikely Hobbs would agree to a debate.

That’s because Hobbs again rejected a traditional debate offered by the AZCCEC on Sunday, after a previous rejection last month. The AZCCEC decided during a meeting last Thursday to grant the two gubernatorial candidates another week to come to an agreement on a debate format. Hobbs’ campaign manager Nicole DeMont responded to the AZCCEC that she couldn’t agree to any debate format featuring Lake, accusing her opponent of using the debate platform inappropriately.

“Unfortunately, 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,” wrote DeMont.

If the AZCCEC doesn’t grant an extension and Hobbs doesn’t change her mind, then Lake will have a televised 30-minute Q&A session with Arizona Horizon host Ted Simons on October 12 instead of a debate. 

In her letter petitioning the AZCCEC for an open invitation for Hobbs, Lake claimed that Hobbs had a “paralyzing fear” of debating her. 

“It’s disturbing that Hobbs, who currently serves as our Secretary of State and administrator of our elections, thinks so little of the voters and the democratic process that she would rob them of their one chance for a fair and informative debate,” wrote Lake’s campaign. “Kari Lake will not protest if Hobbs agrees to show up for the debate in the 11th hour — even if it’s the day of — and it is our hope that the Commission won’t either.”

Hobbs is the first candidate to refuse a Clean Elections debate since the AZCCEC’s inception in 2002.

Instead of a debate, Hobbs requested that AZCCEC host two back-to-back town halls. The AZCCEC rejected that proposal.

Hobbs didn’t address mainstream media criticisms over her Sunday decision to reject the AZCCEC debate. 

Rather, Hobbs carried on with her campaign activities, which included a visit to Flagstaff to meet with Mission AZ, an organization that helps elect Democratic candidates, as well as Northern Arizona University’s (NAU) chapter of the Arizona Education Association (AEA) and Young Democrats.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

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