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Arizona's top elections official Katie Hobbs announces run for governorship amid ongoing election audit

Submitted by Tech Insider on June 2, 2021 - 7:03pm

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Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who rose to prominence defending the state's election results following the 2020 vote, announced Wednesday that she's launching a run for governor. 

In an announcement video posted to Twitter, Hobbs trumpeted her role as a dependable leader, touting her past political successes and pledging to lead the state through recovery in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.   

 

Hobbs, a Democrat, first saw her national profile grow this fall during a series of cable news appearances amid Arizona's ongoing vote count, which continued days beyond Election Day. 

Then, this spring, Hobbs became an outspoken critic of the controversial election audit in Maricopa County, spearheaded by the state's GOP-controlled Senate. The recount decision was made in spite of objections by the county's Republican-controlled board of supervisors. The board said the election had already been audited more than once by credible firms.

Hobbs has frequently cited concerns over a lack of transparency and even taken legal action to ensure elections experts are on the ground during the process. 

She's criticized the contentious effort as a danger to democracy and has taken several steps to both stop and document the controversial recount. She's sent sharply-worded letters to audit organizers about the recount; suggested the county replace its voting machines due to security concerns; and published a detailed summary of concerning witness statements from the recount. 

"We did our jobs. They refuse to do theirs," Hobbs said in her announcement video. "And there is a lot more work to be done. That is why I am running for governor. 

Hobbs won the secretary of state position in a narrow victory in 2018 and her current term ends in January 2023. Arizona's current governor, Republican Doug Ducey, is also term-limited and will be out in 2023. 

Kimberly Yee, Arizona's current state treasurer, and a Republican, has also announced a gubernatorial run, as has Kari Lake, a former anchor for the local Fox station.  

Republicans in the politically-changing state's legislature have responded to Hobbs' relentless objections in kind. Last month, Republicans passed a measure to strip Hobbs of her election powers and transfer such duties to Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich, but only through the end of 2023 — a seemingly deliberate attempt to punish Hobbs for her criticism.

Before serving as Secretary of State, Hobbs served as a member of Arizona's Senate and House of Representatives. 

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