(PHOENIX) — The campaign headquarters of Arizona’s Democratic candidate for governor and current Secretary of State Katie Hobbs was burglarized earlier this week, according to her campaign manager and local police.
The Phoenix Police Department said it received a 911 call about a break-in at Hobbs’ downtown office in Arizona’s capital city on Tuesday afternoon at around 2 p.m. local time. Officers responded to the scene and learned that several items had been taken from the property the night before. Police did not specify what those items were, citing an “active investigation.” Investigators are reviewing footage from surveillance cameras in the area to try to identify suspects, police said.
Hobbs’ campaign manager, Nicole DeMont, said they “continue to cooperate with law enforcement as they investigate” the burglary and that they “are thankful to the men and women of the Phoenix Police Department for their work to keep us safe.”
“Secretary Hobbs and her staff have faced hundreds of death threats and threats of violence over the course of this campaign,” DeMont said in a statement Wednesday. “Throughout this race, we have been clear that the safety of our staff and of the Secretary is our number one priority.”
“Let’s be clear,” she added, “for nearly two years 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.”
With less than two weeks until midterm Election Day and early voting underway, Hobbs and Republican candidate Kari Lake are in a close and combative contest for Arizona’s governorship. Lake, 53, is a conservative former television news anchor with no political experience whose gubernatorial candidacy has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump. Lake has fervently echoed Trump’s false claims that the 2020 presidential election was rigged.
Hobbs, 52, has declined to debate her Republican opponent, saying she feels it wouldn’t be worthwhile. In response, Lake has taunted Hobbs to face her in a series of videos, painting the Democratic rival as having something to hide for refusing to debate.
DeMont said the intimidation “won’t work” and that Hobbs “will win this race.”
The Arizona Democratic Party was also quick to point the finger at Lake.
“Make no mistake — this is a direct result of Kari Lake and fringe Republicans spreading lies and hate and inciting violence — and it is despicable,” the party said in a Twitter post on Wednesday.
When asked for comment, Lake told reporters after a campaign event in Scottsdale on Wednesday that she bears no responsibility for the burglary and said it “sounds like a Jussie Smollett part two,” referring to a hoax the actor was implicated in.
“I can’t believe that she would blame my amazing people or blame me for something like that,” Lake added. “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.”
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