Democratic candidate for Governor of Arizona Katie Hobbs reacts at a 2022 U.S. midterm elections night party in Phoenix, Arizona, November 8, 2022.
Jim Urquhart | Reuters
Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, won the race for governor of Arizona, NBC News projected on Monday evening..
Hobbs, who is Arizona’s secretary of state, defeated Republican nominee Kari Lake, a former television news anchor who became a leading denier of the legitimacy of the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
With 97% of the projected vote in, Hobbs had 50.4% of the vote, compared to 49.6% for Lake.
Hobbs ran a low-key campaign against Lake and refused to debate her, saying she did not want to give the GOP nominee the opportunity to spread conspiracy theories.
She accused Lake of being “only interested in creating a spectacle.”
Lake in turn called Hobbs a “coward” for not debating.
“Democracy is worth the wait,” Hobbs said in a tweet after her victory was projected. “Thank you, Arizona. I am so honored and so proud to be your next Governor.”
Arizona was a crucial battleground state in the 2020 presidential election. Former President Donald Trump, who backed Lake’s candidacy, lost the state and the national vote to President Joe Biden.
Hobbs defended Arizona’s election system against efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the results there.
Lake in an interview with CNN last month repeatedly refused to say she would accept the results of the election for governor if she lost.
Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who has become a pariah among many Republicans because of her harsh criticism of Trump, had urged Arizonans not to vote for Lake in a television ad funded by Cheney’s political action committee at a cost of $500,000.
On Oct. 28, Lake tweeted, “Thank you, @Liz_Cheney,” and attached a letter that said that her campaign team expected the ad to “add another 10 points to our lead.”
Cheney on Monday night fired back with a tweet reply to Lake: “You’re welcome, @KariLake.”
Hobbs in a statement Monday said, “I want to thank the voters for entrusting me with this immense responsibility. It is truly an honor of a lifetime, and I will do everything in my power to make you proud,”
“For the Arizonans who did not vote for me, I will work just as hard for you -because even in this moment of division, I believe there is so much more that connects us,” she said.