Arizona GOP gubernatorial candidates face off in televised debate

The four Republican candidates for Arizona governor squared off in the only televised primary debate.
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 10:15 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The three women and man left in the race, vying to be the Republican candidate for governor, squared off Wednesday evening. It’s the only televised primary debate, and it got testy quickly.

The focus was on the two frontrunners – Kari Lake and Karrin Taylor Robson. “Let’s talk about solutions rather than fight,” Scott Neely, one of the candidates, said.

With insults flying, Neely weighed in, an acknowledgment the debate had gone off the rails. “There’s a reason we don’t always invite Scott; it’s because he’s polling at 0 percent,” Lake said. “No, 1 percent,” Neely responded.

Robson attempted to speak about small businesses in Arizona. “We are going to make Arizona the small business capital of this country and that means,” Robson said, only to be interrupted. “Because she’s okay with small businesses being shut down as she just said,” Lake interjected.

Left in the race are Neely, Lake, Robson, and Paola Tulliani-Zen. The debate grew heated between Robson and Lake. “Fake Lake, I am 100 percent pro-life,” Robson said. “She’s right we do need someone who is a grown up and someone who calls names is not a grown up,” Lake fired back.

On abortion, all four said they’re pro-life and support the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down Roe vs. Wade. “I’m glad life won, okay,” Neely said.

Tulliani-Zen was then asked if she’d support abortion in the case of rape or incest. “That’s a gray area. I don’t know, that’s a personal decision for a person,” she responded.

Lake and Robson each echoed statements supporting the Supreme Court’s decision. “I don’t think abortion pills should be legal,” Lake said. “I agree, I am 100 percent pro-life, I always have been. I always will be,” Taylor Robson added.

On election security and the 2020 presidential election, Lake interjected. “I’d actually like to ask everybody on this stage if they’d agree that we had a corrupt, stolen election, raise your hand,” Lake said. Lake, Neely and Tulliani-Zen each raised their hands in response. “I’m not going to play your stunt,” Robson responded to Lake.

Robson wouldn’t say the election was stolen, only that she supports shoring it up. Robson was also the only candidate to say she’d accept the results of the upcoming primary election.