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Candidate profile: Katie Hobbs, Democratic candidate for Arizona Governor

Hobbs is currently serving as Secretary of State. Now she's running for governor and is facing off against Trump-endorsed Kari Lake.

ARIZONA, USA — Arizona's General Election is happening Tuesday, Nov. 8 and the race for governor has come down to a tight struggle between Katie Hobbs and Kari Lake.

Meet the Candidate: Katie Hobbs

Katie Hobbs, the state’s current top elections official, announced her candidacy for the state’s top elected position in June 2021.

“It’s about getting the job done,” Hobbs said.

It’s been the 2020 election that’s kept Hobbs in front of the camera after conspiracy theories and a partisan election review made headlines.

“It’s been challenging, but I will say that I’m really proud of the work we did in 2020,” Hobbs said.

Hobbs is a native Arizonan and was a social worker before first being elected to office in 20210 as a State Representative. Later, Hobbs served as the State Senate Minority leader.

A piece of her time in that position made its way to the courts, where State Senate Policy Advisor Talonya Adams won lawsuits arguing that she was discriminated against by the State Senate.

Hobbs was Adams's ultimate boss and one of the leaders who made the decision to fire Adams in 2015.

“I believe it’s because I was African American that I was dismissed,” Adams told 12 News in 2019. “I also think it was in retaliation for requesting a raise.”

Hobbs did apologize in a video message posted on social media in December 2021.

“Please allow me to say this clearly and unequivocally, I apologize to Ms. Adams,” Hobbs said in the video.

Adams has since endorsed Hobbs’ opponent, Marco Lopez.

Hobbs told 12 News that as she’s apologized to Adams, she’s focusing on the election.

“I've spent my time working to build the coalition that we need to win this election, listening to Arizonans across the state, and working to build a vision for a government that is inclusive and accountable and reflects the diversity of our state. And that is the hard work that I'm ready to start doing on day one when I'm elected,” Hobbs said.

If elected, what is your number one legislative priority? 

Hobbs said she has several things she’d like to see changed in the state, and her priority would depend on the legislature elected in November.

“There's a lot of things I like to roll back, restrictions that have been put into place, a proactive agenda to move us forward as a state, address our water crisis, fix our school system, address rising costs. I think these are issues that we can put partisan politics aside to do if there's legislators that are willing to do that. No matter what, those are the things I'm going to fight for,” Hobbs said.

What is your primary policy goal to control the rising cost of living in AZ, including housing and rent?

Hobbs has shared a plan to address inflation and the higher costs Arizonans are paying every day.

As for housing, Hobbs said affordable housing is needed across the state.

“The state really needs to be a better partner to help local jurisdictions build more housing to help drive the cost down. And especially find ways to make sure that there's affordable housing that our workforce can afford to live in,” Hobbs said.

Arizona continues to face a serious teacher shortage and large classroom sizes. What is the next step for the legislature to address those problems? 

Hobbs said the state needs to do more to attract and keep Arizona teachers in the classrooms.

Adding, lowering standards for people to teach Arizona students isn’t going to help the situation.

“That means mentorship programs and incentivizing them to stay here in Arizona. It means paying them more,” Hobbs said.

Should law enforcement in the state have the authority to monitor communications, apps and mail related to abortion services, including the abortion pill?

Hobbs said law enforcement should "absolutely not" be allowed to monitor communications related to abortion services.

As governor, she would veto any further bills to restrict abortion access.

“Right now, we're facing complete criminalization if the attorney general has his way. And the consequences of that, I think, are far beyond what anyone can imagine in terms of the impact it will have on people's lives. We need to roll back the restrictions that are in place, and I will fight every day to do that,” Hobbs said.

In recent weeks, we’ve heard additional testimony, including from those in the former president’s inner circle acknowledging the 2020 election was secure and fair. What would you do, if anything, to maintain election integrity?

Hobbs spoke with 12News as she turned in her ballot for the primary, saying Arizona’s elections are secure and fair.

“As governor, I would definitely take everything that I've learned as Secretary of State and make sure that I'm continuing to be a champion for our election systems in Arizona, that are some of the best in the country, that are secure, and allow Arizonans to participate in many ways,” Hobbs said.

Decision 2022

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