GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Kari Lake Says Arizona Secretary of State Hobbs Should Recuse Herself

Kari Lake speaking with attendees at the 2021 Southwest Regional Conference hosted by Turning Point USA at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, Arizona.
Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake said on Sunday that Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is an announced candidate for the state’s Democrat gubernatorial nomination, should recuse herself from administering the state’s 2022 election.

“The Kari Lake for Arizona campaign is calling for the most partisan Secretary of State in the history of Arizona, Katie Hobbs, to step down from her duties in administering the 2020 election when Hobbs will be on the ballot as a candidate for governor,” the Lake campaign said in a Sunday tweet:

This is in response to Hobb’s history of irrational bias and disdain towards Republicans in addition to what election investigators have reported to the public about serious issues affecting tens-of-thousands of ballots and voters in the 2020 election Hobbs oversaw.

As the only candidate of either party who already has the signatures required to be on the ballot, Lake feels a duty to speak out so all Republicans have a fair shot.

Lake, the former Fox 10 news anchor in Phoenix, made headlines in March when she announced her resignation from that job due to the continued leftward drift of media reporting.

“Journalism has changed a lot since I first stepped into a newsroom, and, I’ll be honest, I don’t like the direction it’s going,” Lake said in that announcement.

“The media needs more balance in coverage, and a wider range of viewpoints represented in every newsroom at every level, and in each position. In the past few years, I haven’t felt proud to be a member of the media. I’m sure there are other journalists out there who feel the same way,” she added.

On June 1, Lake announced her candidacy for the Republican nomination for governor, as her former station Fox 10 reported:

Lake worked for KSAZ-TV for 22 years until she announced her retirement from news in March of 2021.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s term ends Jan. 1, 2023, as he’s prohibited to run for a third consecutive term per Arizona state law.

State Treasurer Kimberly Yee and developer Karrin Taylor Robson announced their intent to seek the GOP nomination in May.

In 2018, Republican secretaries of state in three states administered elections in which they sought higher statewide elected office, as McClatchy reported at the time:

Elected secretaries of state in Georgia and Kansas — who in their official capacities oversee the elections in their states — are running for governor. Ohio’s secretary of state is running for lieutenant governor. All are Republicans.

They have faced scattered calls to resign but have refused to do so. Election reformers say the situation underscores the conflict of interest when an official has responsibilities for an election while also running as a candidate.

“There is just too much of a temptation if a political party is in a position to run the mechanics of an election to try to tilt it, and it’s a temptation we ought not to encourage,” said former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton, an Indiana Democrat who spent 34 years on Capitol Hill. “This is not nuclear physics.”

As of Tuesday morning, Secretary of State Hobbs has not publicly responded to Lake’s call for her to step down from administering the 2022 election in Arizona.

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