Katie Hobbs’ refusal to debate her opponents is a snub to voters

Hobbs is the only candidate in the governor’s race to decline to participate in the Clean Elections debates and one of only two candidates in statewide races to take a pass. (The other is Republican Mark Finchem, who is running for secretary of state.)

Opinion: Katie Hobbs wants to be governor, but she can’t spare an hour to debate her primary opponents? I wonder what she’s afraid of?

By Laurie Roberts | Arizona Republic

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has refused to debate her opponents in the Democratic primary race for Arizona governor.

On June 30, the Democrats who want to be Arizona’s next governor will appear for this year’s one-and-only televised debate.

Well, two of them will, anyway. Katie Hobbs won’t be there.

Apparently, the Democratic frontrunner can’t spare an hour to give primary voters the chance to evaluate the candidates, side by side.

She is the only candidate in the governor’s race to decline to participate in the Clean Elections debates and one of only two candidates in statewide races to take a pass. (The other is Republican Mark Finchem, who is running for secretary of state.)

“All other statewide candidates have appeared so far or agreed to appear in our debates,” Gina Roberts, voter education director for the Citizens Clean Elections Commission, told me, via email. “We typically have 100% participation from all statewide candidates, so I am hopeful circumstances will change and Sec. Hobbs and Rep. Finchem will be able to join us.”

Katie Hobbs can’t spare an hour for debate?

And I am hopeful to one day see glittered pigs wearing crowns and doing loop-de-loops around the Capitol dome.

In other words, about as hopeful as I am about seeing Hobbs engaging in a debate to show voters why she’s a better choice than Aaron Lieberman or Marco Lopez.

Alas, she has “multiple events in Tucson that day,” her spokesman Joe Wolf explained.

Wolf says Hobbs is accessible to reporters for interviews and spends a lot of time meeting with voters “where they are” across the state.

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