Katie Hobbs’ campaign for Arizona governor takes a hit after verdict of discrimination lawsuit
PHOENIX – A recent OH Predictive Insights poll showed Secretary of State Katie Hobbs to have a decisive lead in the Arizona Democratic primary race for governor.
Hobbs got 42% of the vote and his closest rival, Marco Lopez, 8% of the vote. But Hobbs’ good fortune began to change earlier this month after a federal jury awarded Taloyna Adams, Democratic policy adviser to the state Senate, $ 2.75 million.
It was the second time that a federal jury had agreed Adams was a victim of racial and gender discrimination.
The jury also found that she had suffered retaliation because she wondered why she was earning less than others doing the same job.
Hobbs, who was the Senate Minority Leader at the time, testified in court saying Adams was fired for performance issues.
“With the verdicts finding her guilty of racial and gender discrimination and dismissal in retaliation, for her to say these other things is dishonest,” Adams said.
The Hobbs campaign turned down several interview requests. But in a letter to her supporters, candidate Hobbs said Adams firing had nothing to do with gender or race.
“So the fact that a sitting secretary of state asserts not one but two federal jury verdicts is indicative of someone who shouldn’t be in government,” Adams said.
Hobbs’ response to supporters did not please Arizona’s African American community leaders.
“We call on all people, especially people of color, to reconsider any support for Katie Hobbs to become the next governor of Arizona,” wrote Clovis Campbell, editor of Arizona Informant, the only newspaper the state’s black weekly.
Campbell’s letter was signed by NAACP State President Charles Fanniel, former state lawmaker Art Hamilton, former Phoenix City Council member Michael Johnson, Arizona commissioner Sandra Kennedy Corporation and Rev. Warren Stewart Sr. of the First Institutional Baptist Church of Phoenix.
“I am deeply grateful for their support,” Adams said.
Congressman Greg Stanton, a Democrat, said in a statement that Hobbs “has to do the right thing. Accept the responsibility and explain in detail how it will better uphold the values that are important to all Arizonans. ”
For some, it is too late for that.
Art Hamilton, who is a former parliamentary minority leader, has announced that he is backing businessman Marco Lopez for the governorship.