(breitbart) – Democrat Katie Hobbs’s campaign for Arizona governor announced Sunday that she would not debate her Republican opponent Kari Lake.
Hobbs’s campaign manager, Nicole DeMont, stated that the Democrat would not share the stage with a “conspiracy theorist” after the campaign faced mounting pressure to debate from Arizona’s Clean Elections Commission (CEC).
“Unfortunately, debating a conspiracy theorist like Kari Lake – whose entire campaign platform is to cause enormous chaos and make Arizona the subject of national ridicule – would only lead to constant interruptions, pointless distractions, and childish name-calling,” DeMont said in a statement.
She noted that Hobbs, who is Arizona’s secretary of state, “remains willing and eager to participate in a town hall style event.”
On Thursday, Hobbs, who in 2017 said “neo-nazi[s]” make up former President Donald Trump’s base of supporters, and her team proposed a town hall-style event in lieu of debate. Each candidate would answer questions separately under the proposal. The CEC rejected the format and nudged the Hobbs campaign to debate Lake, giving the campaigns a week to hammer out details. DeMont’s statement came with four days left to reach a compromise.
During their virtual meeting Thursday, CEC Chairman Damon Mayer asked DeMont if there was “any scenario in which Secretary Hobbs will share the stage with Ms. Lake in a traditional … debate format?”
“Well, I’m not going to answer a hypothetical question,” she replied before refusing to answer a similar follow-up.
After the CEC rejected the proposal, Lake said that “[i]t’s becoming clearer everyday that Hobbs’ strategy is to hide from Me, the Press, and the Voters throughout the entirety of this campaign and run out the clock on the people of Arizona.”
The candidates participated in a town hall hosted by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday, where they fielded questions separately. Lake took the stage after Hobbs and said that she “will not agree to a forum that [her] opponent wants,” adding that she was “doing that tonight.”
“So we’ve got a couple empty chairs up here, and every time you look at a chair, just think we should be filling that with our opponent here on the stage. But I digress,” she added.