On Thursday, Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake (R) shot back at claims from her opponent, AZ Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, suggesting that she or her “allies” had at least inspired a recent break-in at her campaign office.
Hobbs released a statement on Wednesday following the burglary, allegedly taking place at her Phoenix campaign headquarters and reported to local authorities on Tuesday afternoon. Hobbs said that she and her team were cooperating with law enforcement in order to get to the bottom of the incident, but then continued the statement, suggesting that Lake’s rhetoric had increased tensions and may have pushed her political allies or followers to violent action.
“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 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 accusations, telling CNN that it was “absurd” that Hobbs would suggest that she was responsible and even suggested 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 two.”
Lake also pushed back on Hobbs’ suggestion 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.”
While it appears that an arrest has been made in connection with the burglary, no further information about the suspect has been released by authorities at time of publishing.
Hobbs has since declined to comment on the break-in.
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