PHOENIX — A recent OH Predictive Insights poll showed Secretary of State Katie Hobbs with a decisive lead in Arizona’s Democratic Primary race for Governor.
Hobbs had 42% of the vote and her closest rival, Marco Lopez, has 8% of the vote. But Hobbs’ good fortune began to change earlier this month after a federal jury awarded Taloyna Adams, a Democratic policy advisor for the state senate, $2.75 million.
It was the second time a federal jury agreed Adams was the victim of racial and gender discrimination.
The jury also found she was retaliated against because she questioned why she was earning less than others who did the same work.
Hobbs, who was the Senate Minority Leader at the time, testified in court saying Adams was fired for performance-related issues.
“With the verdicts finding her culpable for race and sex discrimination and retaliatory termination, for her to say these other things is dishonest,” Adams said.
The Hobbs campaign refused multiple requests for an interview. But in a letter to her supporters, candidate Hobbs said Adams’ firing had nothing to do with gender or race.
“So having a sitting Secretary of State not affirm not one but two federal jury verdicts is indicative of someone who should not be in government,” Adams said.
The Hobbs response to supporters did not sit well with leaders in Arizona’s African American community.
“We ask all persons, especially people of color, to reconsider any support for Katie Hobbs to become the next governor of Arizona,” wrote Clovis Campbell, the publisher of the Arizona Informant, the state’s only weekly black newspaper.
Campbell’s letter was signed by NAACP State President Charles Fanniel, former state lawmaker Art Hamilton, former Phoenix City Council member Michael Johnson, Arizona Corporation Commissioner Sandra Kennedy and Reverend Warren Stewart Sr. of the First Institutional Baptist Church of Phoenix.
“I’m deeply grateful for their support,” Adams said.
Congressman Greg Stanton, a Democrat, said in a statement, Hobbs “must do the right thing. Accept responsibility as well as fully explain how she will better uphold the values that are important to all Arizonans.”
For some it's too late for that.
Art Hamilton who is a former House Minority Leader announced he is supporting businessman Marco Lopez for Governor.