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Arizona Republicans Walk Out Of Katie Hobbs State of the State Address

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Arizona Republican lawmakers turned their backs on new Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs during her first State of the State address, with some even walking out during her speech.

“Several of the GOP lawmakers turned their backs on the new governor and walked out as she outlined her priorities, according to a report. Democratic lawmakers applauded Hobbs when she preached that she intended to increase public education funding and address Arizona’s water crisis. However, when she began calling for abortion access, members of the Arizona Freedom Caucus publicly left the chamber, the report noted,” the Washington Examiner reported.

“As was foreseeable, Katie Hobbs utilized the time-honored State of the State Address to once again promote her radical, woke policy initiatives, rather than address the profoundly serious concerns that Arizonans have regarding the political and fiscal realities of daily life,” a statement from the Arizona Freedom Caucus read.

“On the heels of an election riddled with violations of Arizona law that once again left Arizonans disenfranchised and lacking confidence in our state’s local governments. Katie Hobbs has now affirmed what many reasonably feared: this governor has no intention of using her office to correct existing corruption and restore the faith of Arizonans in their state and local governments,” the statement added.

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Arizona Freedom Caucus member Rep. Rachel Jones echoed the sentiment that there is a lack of trust.

“It took 5 seconds for Katie Hobbs to begin legislating from the 9th floor, so I will not listen to her rhetoric for even 5 seconds. There are too many questions left unanswered, litigation still moving through the courts, and many concerns about the border, not pronouns,” she tweeted after the address. “This is why I immediately left the House Floor after the start of the State of the State. I promised to be the voice of the people, and I will never break that promise.”

Hobbs reacted to the walkout after the address and called the move puerile.

“I’m still optimistic that we can find common ground on a lot of the issues that we talked about,” she said. “It’s unfortunate that some members chose an immature stunt instead. We have really tough issues in front of us, and we need to work together to solve them.”

Last week, Republican Kari Lake filed two appeals related to a lawsuit challenging her loss in the Arizona gubernatorial race in November.

Lake also filed a motion to have her lawsuit heard by the Arizona Supreme Court, which was denied.

“Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson ruled against Lake’s challenge after finding the court was not presented with clear and convincing evidence in the widespread misconduct, she alleged influenced the election results,” Fox News reported. “Lake, on Wednesday, filed an appeal with the Appeals Court on Judge Thompson’s ruling. She also filed a motion to send the appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court, asking to skip a step with the Appeals Court. Arizona’s Supreme Court denied the request to transfer the appeal.”

In its decision, the Arizona Supreme Court said, “no good cause appears to transfer the matter to this court.”

Lake provided an update on Wednesday night via Twitter: “My court case will be going before the Appeals Court prior to the Arizona Supreme Court because it’s already been scheduled for review. This decision was done without prejudice & I am confident the case will end up in their hands eventually. We’re moving forward.”

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Lake revealed last week that she is open to a hand recount after her election loss to Arizona Democrat Gov. Katie Hobbs, who was sworn in on Jan. 2, by around 17,000 votes.

In response to a Twitter user calling for a “full hand recount of all AZ ballots,” Lake replied with three simple words: “Yes. We. Do.”

Lake is asking the Arizona Court of Appeals to reconsider all 10 counts of a lawsuit that were tossed by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson.

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Lake is also asking the appeals court to overturn the decision for her to pay $33,000 in fees to Hobbs.

Judge Peter Thompson denied a request from Hobbs seeking sanctions against Lake.

However, the judge did award Hobbs just over $33,000 to cover costs for retaining expert witnesses during a two-day trial brought on by Lake, who challenged the results of November’s gubernatorial election.

“After the litigation, Hobbs filed a request to the court seeking $36,990 in attorneys’ fees and expenses paid during a two-day trial, as well as sanctions against Lake. The court denied Hobbs’ request for sanctions against Lake, saying the claims presented in litigation were not groundless or brought in bad faith. But costs associated with fees of witnesses were covered, for the most part. Hobbs requested reimbursement of $5,900 for an expert who was retained and who testified during the court hearing,” Fox News reported.

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“She also filed a separate request for expert witness fees in the amount of $22,451 and an additional $4,689.50 for the reimbursement of a person designated to inspect the ballots. The ballot inspector’s compensation, according to court documents, was charged at a rate of $565 per hour for 8.3 hours. The court agreed to reimburse the $33,040.50 to Hobbs. It also ordered that the amount accrue an annual interest of 7.5% until the money is paid in full,” the report added.

Judge Thompson wrote in his decision: “Every one of Plaintiff’s witnesses — and for that matter, Defendants’ witnesses as well — was asked about any personal knowledge of both intentional misconduct and intentional misconduct directed to impact the 2022 General Election. Every single witness before the Court disclaimed any personal knowledge of such misconduct. The Court cannot accept speculation or conjecture in place of clear and convincing evidence.”

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