Gov. Hobbs responds to allegations accusing leaders of being bribed by cartel

Gov. Hobbs directly addressed recent election denier claims in a Tuesday press conference.
Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 5:58 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Gov. Katie Hobbs on Tuesday slammed election deniers for hosting a legislative hearing last week that publicly smeared her and other elected officials.

A key witness at last week’s hearing accused politicians, judges and other officials of taking bribes from a Mexican drug cartel without evidence. “It makes the legislature, quite honestly, a laughing stock and Arizona by extension, and I hope folks are held accountable for this,” Hobbs said during a news conference.

These were the governor’s first public comments since the joint hearing on elections on Thursday went completely off the rails. During that hearing, an insurance agent from Scottsdale was allowed to present unsupported claims of election fraud and bribery. She accused the governor and others on both sides of the aisle of being in the pockets of the Sinaloa Cartel.

Hobbs said she is exploring ways to respond, but for now, she’d rather lawmakers focus on more pressing issues, like water, housing, and inflation. “These are all really critical issues that should be having full day legislative hearings on and we’re not, instead we’re having these circus shows,” Hobbs said.

The governor also said giving election deniers an official platform to air unsubstantiated conspiracy theories is dangerous and irresponsible. Hobbs didn’t indicate she was seeking a legal remedy, but Republican Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer said he’s considering a defamation suit.