Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake (R) quickly fired back after her opponent, AZ Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, insinuated that she or her “allies” had at least inspired a recent break-in at her campaign office.
Hobbs released a statement following the burglary — which allegedly took place at her campaign headquarters in Phoenix and was reported to local authorities on Tuesday afternoon — saying that she and her team were cooperating with law enforcement in order to get to the bottom of the incident. She then suggested that Lake’s rhetoric had ratcheted up the temperature and may have pushed her allies in a violent direction.
Statement from our campaign on tonight's news: pic.twitter.com/OLqPMa5pYt
— Katie Hobbs (@katiehobbs) October 27, 2022
“Secretary Hobbs and her staff have faced hundreds of death threats and threats of violence over the course of this campaign. Throughout this race, we have been clear that the safety of our staff and of the Secretary is our number one priority,” the campaign statement began, before pivoting to attack Lake.
“Let’s be clear: for nearly two years (Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee) Kari Lake and her allies have been spreading dangerous misinformation and inciting threats against anyone they see fit. The threats against Arizonans attempting to exercise their constitutional rights and their attacks on elected officials are the direct result of a concerted campaign of lies and intimidation,” it continued.
Lake responded to the thinly-veiled accusation, telling CNN that it was “absurd” and suggesting that the break-in may not have even happened as Hobbs’ campaign claimed. “Are you really buying that?” she asked, adding, “Because this sounds like a Jussie Smollett part 2.”
.@katiehobbs blames rhetoric from Lake campaign. @KariLake: “I can’t believe that she would blame my amazing people or blame me… I don’t even know where her campaign office is. I’m assuming it’s in a basement somewhere because that’s where she’s been campaigning”
— Kyung Lah (@KyungLahCNN) October 27, 2022
Lake also pushed back on Hobbs’ insinuation that a member of her team or the tone of her rhetoric might be responsible for the burglary, telling CNN’s Kyung Lah, “I can’t believe that she would blame my amazing people or blame me … I don’t even know where her campaign office is. I’m assuming it’s in a basement somewhere because that’s where she’s been campaigning.”
According to the most recent reporting, someone has been arrested in connection with the burglary, but authorities have not yet provided any additional details to the press.
Hobbs has since declined to comment:
AFTER accusing my team of coordinating a Watergate style break-in of her office, Katie Hobbs has now flip-flopped and DOES NOT want to talk about the crime
This comes AFTER arrest was made and NO political motivation confirmed. pic.twitter.com/lb7YAwl3eN
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) October 27, 2022