The Arizona governor's race is now about who's least racist. Really

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Former President Donald Trump and Kari Lake stand on stage together at the Save America Rally in Florence, Ariz. on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022. (Alex Gould/The Republic)
Former President Donald Trump and Kari Lake stand on stage together at the Save America Rally in Florence, Ariz. on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022. (Alex Gould/The Republic)

The two women deemed favorites to face off in Arizona governor’s general election have begun fighting over who’s least racist.

Democrat Katie Hobbs accused Republican Kari Lake of wasting $50,000 “just to beg for Donald Trump's approval.”

Lake, the Trump-endorsed candidate who did spend that much during her stay at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago, snapped back.

“Here’s @KatieHobbs begging Democrat primary voters to forgive her for her racist behavior and costing Arizona almost THREE MILLION in settlement money,” Lake said on Twitter.

“Katie, I promise you do not want to pick this fight with me,” she added.

Hobbs can't shake discrimination case

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is running for governor, speaks at a press conference on Nov. 4, 2021.
Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is running for governor, speaks at a press conference on Nov. 4, 2021.

Of course, neither candidate would ever consider herself to be racist. But their actions, statements and affiliations suggest otherwise.

Democrats and Republicans will have to choose whether they want these two women as their respective nominees.

What a choice, right?

Hobbs, the current secretary of state and the party establishment favorite, will have to defend her involvement in the multimillion-dollar race and sex discrimination case involving a Black former Senate staffer, Talonya Adams.

Lake’s attack on Hobbs “racist behavior” is only the beginning. Expect the case to be splashed all over TV ads against Hobbs, putting her candidacy in a real pickle because whatever she says, two federal juries found Adams was discriminated against.

Democrats supporting Hobbs must know it.

But they aren’t lifting a finger to look at the two other primary contenders – Marco López and Aaron Lieberman or any other alternative.

Lake, Taylor Robson love to scare white folks

Lake isn’t any better, of course.

She’s the Trump gal, spewing his lies of a stolen presidential election, vowing to jail election workers and to fight for all things Trumpian, including finishing the wall with Mexico. She also has publicly thanked a Nazi sympathizer and has appeared with QAnon-linked activists, just to name a few.

The other Republicans in the primary have gone all in on Trump, too.

Karrin Taylor Robson, who’s rich enough to throw in half of her whopping $3.7 million war chest, put up her first TV ad focusing on ... you guessed it ... a border “invasion.”

Yep. The woman actually risked getting some dirt on hershoes to record the 30-second spot along the U.S. border with Mexico to scare the hell out of GOP voters who want to Make America White Again.

State Treasurer Kimberly Yee has dropped out of the governor’s race, which leaves the other Trumpers Steve Gaynor and Matt Salmon competing for the GOP nomination.

That’s how things stand in the Arizona race to replace outgoing Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, who did a fairly good job fending off anti-immigrant and other discriminatory proposals during his first term but who also has shown Trumpian tendencies lately, especially when it comes to border security and fighting the pandemic.

Shouldn't the governor's race be about something else?

What a dreadful governor’s race so far.

Arizona is home to a diverse population of 7.2 million people who face real problems – the least of which is a border “invasion.” Tragically, the focus isn’t about improving Arizonans’ lives but just getting elected at any cost.

Democrats must know that Hobbs’ “racist behavior” is a real problem because it isn’t just an accusation that will go way. It’s something that two separate federal juries agreed happened.

That’s pure dynamite to the Republicans whose current candidate slate isn’t any better. Is Arizona’s governor’s race really going to be a competition between who’s least racist?

Elvia Díaz is an editorial columnist for The Republic and azcentral. Reach her at 602-444-8606 or elvia.diaz@arizonarepublic.com. Follow her on Twitter, @elviadiaz1.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona governor's race is now about who's least racist

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