To replace term-limited Governor Doug Ducey, Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who opposes the state Legislature’s “audit” of the 2020 election, will run.
On Wednesday, Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs of Arizona declared her candidacy for the position of governor of the state.
The opening of her campaign announcement video features newscasters talking about how she will be targeted during the 2020 election, highlighting her position as the state’s top elections official.
In the video, Hobbs states, “In 2020, against all odds, amid a pandemic, we demonstrated that democracy works.”
Currently serving Republican governor and RGA chair Doug Ducey is term-limited and unable to run for office again in 2022.
Who else is running: The second well-known Democrat to enter the contest is Hobbs. Marco López Jr., who served as the mayor of Nogales, Arizona, in the early 2000s and was a top official in the Homeland Security Department under the Obama administration, announced his candidacy earlier this year.
State Treasurer Kimberly Yee, member of the state Board of Regents Karrin Taylor Robson, and former television reporter Kari Lake, who announced her candidacy late on Wednesday night, are all Republicans who are already in the race.
The knock-on effect: Hobbs’ choice to run for governor, which was long anticipated, leaves her current position available. Since the 2020 election, attention has been focused intensely on secretaries of state across the nation, but possibly no secretaries of larger locations than Arizona.
The largest county in the state, Maricopa County, which President Joe Biden narrowly won in 2020, is the subject of a purported audit being conducted by the state Senate, which is now controlled by Republicans. Election experts have slammed the audit as being poorly conducted and riskily feeding into conspiracy theories that former President Donald Trump and his supporters have actively pushed. Hobbs and Republican county officials in Maricopa have consistently criticized the audit.
State Rep. Mark Finchem, a prominent supporter of the audit, and state Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, the author of a measure that will remove infrequent voters off the state’s well-liked Permanent Early Voting List, are both Republicans who have declared candidacies for secretary of state.
No notable Democrat has yet declared their candidacy. If Hobbs decides to run for governor, Adrian Fontes, who served as Maricopa’s top elections official before narrowly losing to current Recorder Stephen Richer in 2020, told POLITICO in March that he was seriously contemplating a bid. Republican Richer, who has vehemently opposed the state Senate’s audit, said to POLITICO last month that he will not be a candidate for secretary of state.
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