Arizona 2022 election: Katie Hobbs leads Kari Lake in governor's race

By Ben Giles
Associated Press
Published: Tuesday, November 8, 2022 - 11:59pm
Updated: Monday, November 14, 2022 - 7:42pm

Katie Hobbs and Kari Lake
Gage Skidmore/CC BY 2.0
Katie Hobbs (left) and Kari Lake.

Democrat Katie Hobbs was elected Arizona governor on Monday, defeating an ally of Donald Trump who falsely claimed the 2020 election was rigged and refused to say she would accept the results of her race this year. The Associated Press called the race for Hobbs on Monday night.

Hobbs, who is Arizona’s secretary of state, rose to prominence as a staunch defender of the legitimacy of the last election and warned that her Republican rival, former television news anchor Kari Lake, would be an agent of chaos. Hobbs’ victory adds further evidence that Trump is weighing down his allies in a crucial battleground state as the former president gears up for an announcement of a 2024 presidential run.

She will succeed Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, who was prohibited by term limit laws from running again. She’s the first Democrat to be elected governor in Arizona since Janet Napolitano in 2006.

Although vote-counting in Arizona typically stretches well beyond Election Day, Lake has accused election officials of intentionally slowing the process.

On Thursday, Maricopa County board chairman Bill Gates — a fellow Republican — adamantly denied Lake’s allegation.

"If their team would’ve been paying attention before this election, they would’ve heard us talk about this over and over again. That we were not gonna have results on Election Night. Or even the next day. That it was gonna take several days," said Gates. "And quite frankly, it is offensive for Kari Lake to say that these people behind me are slow-rolling this, when they’re working 14 to 18 hours."

Heading into Friday, there were still more than 500,000 votes left to count statewide.

Hobbs and Lake took vastly different approaches to their tightly contested campaign, with Hobbs declining to debate Lake, citing a rambunctious forum during the GOP primary.

While Hobbs made a point to run a quieter campaign and stress issues such as abortion access and voting rights, Lake has been part of a slate of outspoken GOP candidates endorsed by former President Trump who have promoted conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.

When pressed throughout the campaign whether she would accept the outcome of her own race, Lake initially sidestepped, insisting only that she would win. She later said she would accept the results if the election were quote “fair, honest and transparent.”

Kari Lake at the Republican Party of Arizona watch party
Bridget Dowd/KJZZ
Kari Lake addresses the crowd at the Republican Party of Arizona election night watch party on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.

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