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Arizona Secretary Of State Hobbs, Under Threat, Says Republican Officials Must Disavow False Election Claims

By Lauren Gilger, Steve Goldstein
Published: Thursday, November 19, 2020 - 12:52pm
Updated: Friday, November 20, 2020 - 8:32am

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Katie Hobbs
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Katie Hobbs in March 2020.

LAUREN GILGER: Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, her family and her staff are being threatened following unfounded allegations of malfeasance in the election. Gov. Doug Ducey was asked about the false claims of widespread fraud during his press conference [Nov. 18]. He would not directly disavow the claims, but he did say this about the escalating threats against Hobbs.

DOUG DUCEY: Completely unacceptable. And I denounce any threats of violence against anyone in elective office or any Arizonan or American. So that's different than a court challenge.

GILGER: Ducey said he has extended support to Secretary Hobbs, who joins us now. Good morning.

KATIE HOBBS: Hi. Good morning.

GILGER: So, first of all, tell us what you can about the nature of some of these threats. It sounds like they have really escalated. Protesters were even outside your home this week?

HOBBS: Yeah, that, that has happened. Yes, protesters outside my house and we've seen continued escalation of threats on social media and have been reporting them to law enforcement. Unfortunately, a lot of it's coming really fast and furious, like, in a way that's really too hard to monitor. So we're getting, we're getting them what we can. And I know that, that they have folks with eyes on, on the platforms as well to see what's coming in.

GILGER: So what is your response to this, Secretary Hobbs? Like, are you surprised that you are the target of this?

HOBBS: Well, unfortunately, I'm not surprised, but it's just extremely frustrating because we have laws in place and procedures in place that govern our elections. All of those laws and procedures were followed. And we have elected leaders, many of whom helped enact these laws, who are continuing to call into question the validity of the election. And I think that is just fueling these activists who are, who are targeting me.

STEVE GOLDSTEIN: Secretary, let's talk about the governor a bit. As we heard, the governor said [Nov. 18] this is unacceptable. You know, words matter to some extent, but these are people who've already taken some action. Have you actually received any concrete support from him or anyone else across the aisle? Because these protests, these actions certainly seem to be quite partisan.

HOBBS: Well, you know, not directly. And I do appreciate what the governor said [Nov. 18], but I think what would go a lot further to help address some of this directly and head on is if our elected leaders would stand up for the integrity of our elections and stop giving credence to these baseless allegations.

Doug Ducey
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Gov. Doug Ducey announced no new changes in state policy at a COVID-19 pandemic briefing Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020.

GILGER: What more in terms of support do you need at this point, whether it's physical or just verbal, as you've referenced there from, from other leaders in the state?

HOBBS: Well, we're working with [the Department of Public Safety] and the depart — Phoenix police, so I'm feeling fine in terms of that response. I just, we've continued to ask for elected leaders, including the governor, to, you know, not, not continue to, to give credence to these claims of fraud related to the election, because none of it is, is, is founded. And, you know, we've seen things play through the court. The, the Trump campaign and the Republicans are zero in their court challenges in Arizona. We expect to see another outcome [Nov. 19]. But, but they have no evidence of these claims. And we have followed the law. The election has been conducted with integrity. And right now, I need other elected leaders in the state to stand up and say that.

GOLDSTEIN: Secretary Hobbs, you referenced when, when Lauren asked if you were surprised and said, you know, these are, these are obviously things that, that can come into play. But are you seeing a different sign through this particular period — obviously, many of us want to forget 2020 for a lot of different reasons — but going forward, when it comes to future elections, are you seeing this as something that will continue to be symptomatic? Obviously, we can hope it's a one-off, but are you afraid it's not going to be?

HOBBS: Well, I really hope not. I mean, we have seen attention focused on secretaries of state and election officials this year in a way that we haven't before. And really lots of folks trying to point to, to us as the trusted sources of election information. We had the director of election security infrastructure, who was recently fired by the president, but stand up and say that this was the most secure election in history. And so I think that, that, that there are a lot of folks working to bolster confidence. And I think there is a small but vocal minority who is going to continue to refuse to accept the results. And the question is whether we'll continue to give those folks the platform to, to make these kind of claims.

GILGER: Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs joining us this morning to talk about the ongoing threats made against her after this election. Secretary Hobbs, thank you so much for coming on.

HOBBS: Thank you.

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