Democratic Arizona Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs seems to have an aversion to speaking in public — certainly so when Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake is in any way involved.
Hobbs’ attorneys filed a motion Monday to quash a subpoena by Lake’s legal team to have her testify in court in the GOP candidate’s election challenge trial, which began Wednesday.
Hobbs is, after all, in charge of overseeing elections as Arizona’s secretary of state.
State Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson ruled against Hobbs’ motion to quash Monday night, writing in his order the issues at hand concern an “activity wholly within her wheelhouse: the conduct of elections.”
Nonetheless, Hobbs’ attorneys took one more bite at the apple in a filing just after 9 p.m. Monday night, pointing out that Thompson ruled that two counts in Lake’s lawsuit would be going to trial and neither directly involved their client.
One involved the widespread ballot printer problems (and resulting tabulator issues) at 59 percent of polling locations (132 in all) in Maricopa County, according to Lake’s filing.
The county has said 70 sites were impacted — about one-third.
Regardless, hours-long lines formed throughout the county in some very ruby red districts.
Currently the line at Deer Valley Airport to wait for the TABULATORS. Poll workers encouraging people to use the drop boxes. NOBODY IS LEAVING. Wait times are close to 2 hours to scan your ballot. #RedTsunami2022 @KariLake @AbrahamHamadeh @RealMarkFinchem @christianllamar pic.twitter.com/UwM0LN47az
— James Blanchard (@_chinfullofwin) November 9, 2022
The other count in Lake’s suit being argued at trial involves the county’s alleged failure to keep chain-of-custody documentation for more than 300,000 ballots.
Hobbs’ legal team contended concerning their client’s appearance in court, “Though there was no good-faith basis for the Subpoena to begin with … there is absolutely no good faith basis to require the Secretary to testify now given the scope of the MTD Order,” a reference to the motion to quash.
“And to the extent Plaintiff has any questions that are relevant (and there is simply no way she could), Kori Lorick, State Elections Director, has already been disclosed as a potential witness who ‘may testify regarding the Arizona Secretary of State’s election-related duties and responsibilities, or other matters related to the Secretary of State’s Office relevant to this case,’” Hobbs’ attorneys added.
Arizona Republican state Sen. Wendy Rogers tweeted in response to Hobbs’ full-court press to get out of testifying, “Katie Hobbs just filed a Motion to Quash. Good luck. She refused to debate and now she doesn’t want to testify?”
KNXV-TV political analyst Garrett Archer tweeted Tuesday that Lake’s attorneys decided to pull their subpoena for Hobbs to testify, given the two counts in the trial have to do directly with Maricopa County rather than the secretary of state’s office.
She will not be testifying at tomorrow's hearing.
— The AZ – abc15 – Data Guru (@Garrett_Archer) December 20, 2022
Hobbs has escaped facing the public once again.
Her unwillingness to defend her record, both during the campaign and now, is surprising.
It’s strange behavior for someone who ran for the highest office in the state.