5 things to watch for in Arizona governor’s race between Katie Hobbs and Kari Lake

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By Stacey Barchenger | Arizona Republic

The battle lines are drawn: Republican Kari Lake, the former Phoenix newscaster, will take on Democrat Katie Hobbs, the secretary of state, in the race for Arizona’s next governor.

Lake was declared the winner over three GOP challengers on Thursday evening, two days after Hobbs trounced her own competitor to clinch the Democratic spot.

Arizonans will choose one as their 24th governor in November, replacing Gov. Doug Ducey, who is term limited.

Here are five things to watch in the heated race ahead:

1. Prepare for rematch: 2020

Arizonans who are tired of hearing about 2020’s election had better buckle up, as the state’s highest profile contests in November will pit critics of the presidential election two years ago against the people who ran them.

Lake, who won Trump’s endorsement, has furthered false claims he won in 2020, an election that Hobbs oversaw as secretary of state and that she has vehemently defended. Lake has called for Hobbs’ imprisonment for the result, and earlier this week said Hobbs “broke laws.” 

Kari Lake, Republican candidate for governor of Arizona, holds a press conference at her campaign headquarters in Phoenix, Ariz. on Aug. 3, 2022.

“I know for a fact that there’s not an equal, level playing field when it comes to the justice system. The Democrats never go to prison,” Lake said.

And Mark Finchem, an Oro Valley Republican who won his party’s nomination for secretary of state, will face Democratic contender Adrian Fontes, who was the recorder in Maricopa County for the 2020 election. Finchem campaigned on his belief the election two years ago was stolen, garnering Trump’s endorsement along the way. The Associated Press declared Fontes the winner of the Democratic nomination on Thursday evening.

“This is the defining race for our Republic,” Fontes said. “It will let the world know whether we will surrender to foolish conspiracies or whether we will support our Republic that Benjamin Franklin so eloquently said needs to be kept.”

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