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Tipsheet

Kari Lake Tried to Speak With Democrat Opponent at a Town Hall Event. She Got Booted Instead.

AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

In contested elections, there should be debates between the two opposing candidates. The only exception will be if the race is absurdly lopsided. That’s not the case in Arizona, where Republican candidate Kari Lake, a former journalist, could become the next occupant of the governor’s mansion. This gubernatorial election could be one of the closest this cycle, with polls putting Lake one-to-four points ahead of her Democratic opponent, Katie Hobbs. Other surveys have Hobbs up three over Lake. It’s a statistical tie between the two women, though Hobbs has refused to debate Lake. It’s not hard to figure out why: Hobbs is an atrocious candidate. A public relations nightmare barreled out of her this weekend. She reiterated an extremist pro-abortion position and struggled to say anything positive about Latinos.

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Lake has been incessant about debating her Democratic opponent to no avail. So, when all else fails—improvise. At a town hall event that featured both candidates, Lake decided to stick around after her session was over. It was stipulated that both candidates wouldn’t share the stage, so Lake retreated to the audience. The sight of her triggered Hobbs, which caused Lake to be booted from the venue (via NBC News):

Democrat Katie Hobbs won’t debate her opponent in Arizona’s race for governor, yet Republican Kari Lake tried to make it happen at a candidate town hall that organizers say she disrupted.

Under the agreed-upon rules for the pre-recorded event, which was taped Monday and airs at 7 p.m. Saturday Arizona time, the candidates were not supposed to be onstage at the same time and Hobbs was supposed to go first.

But a problem arose before Hobbs even took the stage: Lake was sitting in the front row, in the direct line of sight of where her opponent would sit.

As a crowd of more than 200 watched, organizers said Lake was supposed to be in a holding room under the rules, a copy of which they refused to provide to NBC News. Lake protested, saying she was unaware of that rule and said Hobbs should come out and debate her. Hobbs didn’t.

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Reports indicate that Hobbs survived the encounter, and her mental health was not impacted by seeing someone who she should be debating by now.

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