Hobbs wins Arizona governor’s race, swinging state for Dems

Democrat Katie Hobbs was elected governor of Arizona on Monday, defeating a Donald Trump ally who falsely claimed the 2020 election was rigged and refused to say she would settle for the outcomes of her race this 12 months.

Hobbs, who’s Arizona’s secretary of state, emerged as a staunch defender of the legitimacy of the previous election and warned that her Republican challenger, former TV information anchor Kari Lake, could be an agent of chaos. Hobbs’ victory provides additional proof that Trump is weighing on his allies in a vital battleground state as the previous president prepares to announce a 2024 presidential bid.

She is going to succeed the Republican governor. Doug Ducey, who was barred by time period restrict legal guidelines from operating once more. She is the primary Democrat to be elected governor of Arizona since Janet Napolitano in 2006.

A Republican stronghold the place Democrats have made positive aspects through the Trump period, Arizona has been instrumental in Trump and his allies’ efforts to solid doubt on Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential victory with false claims of fraud. This 12 months, many Trump-backed candidates failed within the normal election in battleground states, though his decide within the Nevada governor’s race, Republican Joe Lombardo, defeated a Democratic incumbent.

Earlier than coming into politics, Hobbs was a social employee working with homeless youth and an govt with a big home violence shelter within the Phoenix space. She was elected to the state legislature in 2010, serving one time period within the Home and three within the Senate, rising to minority chief.

Hobbs narrowly gained in 2018 as secretary of state and was thrust into the middle of a political firestorm as Arizona turned the centerpiece of efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the outcomes of the 2020 election he misplaced. He appeared always on cable information defending the integrity of the vote rely.

The eye allowed him to boost tens of millions of {dollars} and lift his profile. When she introduced her marketing campaign for governor, different distinguished Democrats declined to run, and Hobbs gained the first comfortably.

She ran a cautious marketing campaign, largely sticking to scripted and choreographed public appearances. She refused to interact in a debate with Lake, arguing that Lake would flip it right into a spectacle by spouting conspiracy theories and making false accusations.

As a substitute, he gambled that voters would push again towards Lake, who picked verbal fights with reporters whereas the cameras have been rolling and struck a combative tone towards Democrats and even institution Republicans who’ve lengthy dominated state authorities.

Pre-election polls confirmed the race tied, however Hobbs’ victory nonetheless got here as a shock to many Democrats who feared his shyness would flip off voters. She beat expectations in Maricopa and Pima counties, the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas the place the overwhelming majority of Arizona voters stay. He additionally spent quite a lot of time in rural areas, searching for to reduce his losses in areas that historically assist Republicans.

Lake is well-known throughout a lot of the state after anchoring the night information in Phoenix for greater than 20 years. She got here out as a fierce critic of the mainstream media, which she stated is unfair to Republicans. She gained Trump’s admiration for her steadfast dedication to questioning the outcomes of the 2020 election, a place she by no means wavered from even after successful the Republican main.

She baselessly accused election officers of slowing down vote counts this 12 months and prioritizing Democratic ballots as she narrowly edged Hobbs within the days following the election.

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone stated he elevated safety across the polling place Monday in anticipation of the race being known as and feelings to flare, although he stated there was no particular menace. Protesters gathered exterior the constructing for a number of days however remained calm, he stated.

“I believe we’re getting near the top of the sport, so I wish to be certain that we’re prepared,” Penzone instructed reporters at a information convention hours earlier than the race was known as.

The sheriff’s workplace was stunned two years in the past when armed and indignant protesters descended on the election constructing in downtown Phoenix after Fox Information and The Related Press known as Arizona for Biden, the primary time a Democrat gained the state in additional of 20 years.

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