Katie Hobbs Defeats Kari Lake in Arizona Governor’s Race

A serious threat to voting rights in Arizona has been averted as Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs defeated her far-right, Trump-endorsed opponent. Arizona’s outgoing Secretary of State Hobbs ran against and beat out TV news personality and 2020 election result-denier Kari Lake.

Lake has been evasive about whether or not she will concede loss this time, tweeting “Arizonans know BS when they see it” after Monday’s results were announced. On Monday night, with more than 95% of votes reported, the Associated Press declared Hobbs the winner. After Hobbs’s victory, she tweeted, “Democracy is worth the wait.”

Hobbs gained notoriety as a vocal opponent of Lake and an outspoken defender of the election’s veracity. The defeat of Rep. Lake is another proof that Trump is dragging down his allies in a critical battleground state as the former president prepares to announce a 2024 presidential run. Katie Hobbs‘ supporters were apprehensive in the weeks leading up to the election because she had refused to debate Lake and had given a lackluster performance in her TV appearances, despite the fact that the two candidates were almost tied in the polls.

As Arizona’s chief election official, Hobbs won support and national prominence despite receiving death threats after defending the state’s results against a flurry of disinformation and repeated efforts by Republicans to contest and tarnish Joe Biden‘s 2020 triumph. Supporters of citizens’ right to vote in Arizona are relieved by Hobbs’ decision, which prevents further harm to the state’s electoral infrastructure. At least 81 proposals attempting to limit voting rights were submitted by state Republicans in 2021 and 2022.

Katie Hobbs Defeats Kari Lake in Arizona Governor's Race
Katie Hobbs Defeats Kari Lake in Arizona Governor’s Race

Lake had vowed to further dismantle voting norms in the state had she been elected, saying that winners should be declared on election night (uncommon in Arizona, where mail-in votes can take days to count) and that ballot counting machines should be abandoned in favor of slower and less accurate hand counts.

And right-wing activists have been very active in the state in recent months. Hobbs has forwarded multiple reports of voter intimidation to the police and the US Department of Justice. And outside the Maricopa county election offices in Phoenix, members of the conspiracy theory group Clean Elections USA had been photographing and threatening election officials and voters.

The Copper State was long a safe haven for conservatives, but it has become a political hotspot, and Hobbs’ triumph seems to be further evidence of this trend. Youth and Latino voters, who have been essential in electing Democratic candidates, have had their voices amplified by shifting demographics and a decade of mobilization by grassroots, progressive groups.

Her victory is also a big midterm upset for the Democrats, who managed to keep their Senate majority despite widespread predictions that the GOP would gain control of the House of Representatives. Many voters may have been moved by concerns over abortion rights. More than ninety percent of Arizona citizens, according to a new poll, are against outlawing all abortions.

After Arizona reinstated a ban on abortions that had been in place before the state was formed, Hobbs made the topic essential to her campaign, discussing the restriction’s effects on women and families in very personal terms. Meanwhile, Lake campaigned on a staunchly conservative platform, claiming to proclaim an “invasion” at the southern border and advocating for a complete ban on abortions. She was a Trump fan who had promised to reject the election results unless she herself had won.

Hobbs worked as a social worker with homeless adolescents and as an executive with a large domestic violence shelter in the Phoenix region before to entering politics. In 2010, she won a seat in the state legislature and has since served four terms in the Senate, rising to the position of minority leader.

After barely winning the secretary of state race in 2018, Arizona has become ground zero for Trump and his allies’ efforts to change the results of the 2020 election, and Hobbs has found himself in the eye of the political storm. She made numerous appearances on television news to defend the fairness of the vote tally. Due to the publicity, she was able to amass a large campaign war chest and boost her public profile, paving the way for an easy primary election victory.

She will take over for outgoing Republican governor Doug Ducey, who could not run again due to term limits. The last Democrat to serve as Arizona governor was Janet Napolitano in 2006.

Last Lines

Arizona’s voting rights were saved when Democratic governor candidate Katie Hobbs defeated her far-right, Trump-endorsed opponent. Hobbs, Arizona’s outgoing secretary of state, campaigned against and defeated Kari Lake, a TV news personality who refuses to accept the results of the 2020 election.

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