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Tipsheet

Arizona Dem Joins Calls for Katie Hobbs to Recuse Herself From Official Midterm Duties

AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

In Arizona's race for governor, Republican nominee Kari Lake has repeatedly called for her Democrat opponent, the current Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, to recuse herself from official duties overseeing and certifying the results of next week's midterm elections in the Grand Canyon State. Now, an Arizona Democrat who used to hold the same office is also calling for Hobbs to step aside and pass her election duties on to someone else.

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The comments came in a story from Time Magazine, in which Democrat Richard Mahoney — who served as AZ's 14th Secretary of State from 1991 to 1995 — called for Hobbs to let someone else take the reins. 

"I think it would be wise if the secretary of state seconded responsibility for ministerial oversight to either the attorney general or the Maricopa County recorder,” Mahoney explained. "The secretary of state’s role is really ministerial. It is responsible for the canvass and the certification," Mahoney noted. "But if this is very close, it will be contested at some level. There’ll be activities in superior court by both sides. It would be better, as a matter of appearance, that the attorney general oversee it," he added. 

Time's report also quoted another former Secretary of State, Republican Ken Bennett, who agreed with Lake and Mahoney's assessment: "She should recuse herself from the official acts that she would normally perform as secretary and let a deputy secretary or somebody else take care of those," Bennett said. 

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Mahoney wasn't the only Democrat former Secretary of State to say Hobbs ought to recuse herself, either. "The point is—recusal and putting in a different person is the right thing to do, if there’s any question," explained John Willis, Maryland's Democrat Secretary of State from 1995 to 2003. 

Hobbs has refused to heed Lake's calls for the Secretary of State to recuse herself, even after an "error" caused thousands of Arizona voters to be incorrectly flagged to receive ballots that only listed federal races. 

A recent InsiderAdvantage poll from Arizona shows Lake with an 11-point lead over Hobbs, with pollsters citing Hobbs' refusal to debate Lake as a reason why undecideds and independents are breaking to the GOP candidate in the final stretch of the midterm race. 

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