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Arizona governorship race: Should Katie Hobbs recuse herself as elections chief?

Many feel that Hobbs should recuse herself from her duties of overseeing the elections

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Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs speaks to the media before dropping off her primary election ballot July 21, 2022, in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs speaks to the media before dropping off her primary election ballot July 21, 2022, in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Ross D. Franklin, Associated Press

The gubernatorial race in Arizona is one of the tightest races this midterm season. With less than a week to Election Day, Trump-backed candidate Kari Lake, a Republican, is up against Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat.

Lake claims that the 2020 election was stolen, although a Republican investigation found no proof of widespread fraud in Arizona, according to The Associated Press.

When asked if she would accept the election results if she lost, Lake dodged the question.

“I’m going to win the election, and I will accept that result,” she said at the time.

Democratic candidate has a ‘conflict of interest’

Meanwhile, Hobbs was the one who oversaw the 2020 presidential election. This time around, many feel that Hobbs should recuse herself from her duties as election chief since she is one of the candidates.

Time interviewed two former secretaries of state — Richard Mahoney, a Democrat, and Ken Bennett, the Republican — who both concurred that there would be a conflict of interest for Hobbs.

  • “I think it would be wise if the secretary of state seconded responsibility for ministerial oversight to either the attorney general or the Maricopa County recorder,” Mahoney said.
  • “She should recuse herself from the official acts that she would normally perform as secretary and let a deputy secretary or somebody else take care of those,” added Bennett.

After the report was published, Lake took to Twitter to say she was glad that the two former officials agree.

“I’ve been saying for over a year that Katie Hobbs need to recuse herself as Secretary of State for this upcoming election,” she said, adding: “This is an unacceptable conflict of interest.”

Hobbs has no plans of stepping down from overseeing the election, per the Time report.

What are the polls saying?

A recent Fox 10 InsiderAdvantage poll found that Lake has a lead over Hobbs in the ratings by 11 percentage points, while only 2% of voters remained undecided, as I previously reported.

The poll also found that Lake was much more popular “among older adults and Hispanics” out of the 550 voters quizzed over the phone and via text.

FiveThirtyEight also found Lake ahead by 2.5 percentage points.