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Arizona Attorney General candidates Hamadeh, Mayes debate Thursday

Republican Abe Hamadeh and Democrat Kris Mayes both want to be the state's next AG, but their differences couldn't be further apart on issues like the 2020 election
Posted at 6:28 PM, Sep 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-15 21:28:46-04

PHOENIX — In front of a small group at the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, Republican Abe Hamadeh and Democrat Kris Mayes sat right next to each other. But their differences couldn't be further apart on issues like the 2020 election as they both seek the job of Arizona Attorney General.

"My opponent wants you to gloss over the fact that he is an election denier," said Mayes.

"I think it's important that we regain the confidence of our elections," said Hamadeh. "And what you saw down in the primary in Pinal County is unacceptable. When they run out of ballots for Republican voters, that's a civil rights violation in my opinion. So of course, we should have free, fair, and honest elections and that's exactly what I've been calling for."

The two were also asked about what they'd do in enforcing laws around abortion.

“I will never prosecute a woman, a doctor or nurse, a pharmacist under that 1901 Law, Mike under the personhood law, or under the 15-week, ban," said Mayes.

Hamadeh responded to Mayes. "I think all you went on it was a tirade on abortion," said Hamadeh. "And you didn't mention the fact that Arizona does have some laws on the books say if you kill a pregnant woman, you can be charged for killing two people. And I wonder if you're going to be enforcing that, Kris. So, it becomes dangerous territory."

The moderator also asked the two about vaccine mandates and if a business could force employees to get one.

Hamadeh says if he found a business was violating someone's civil rights - his office would step in.

Mayes says a business can since they have a right to engage in civil commerce.

Hamadeh is new to the political world, but he says his experience in the military and as a prosecutor makes him right for the job.

"What we need at the Attorney General's Office is a leader," said Hamadeh. "I think leadership skills being in the military proves that and what I was doing in Saudi Arabia, you know, punching way above my weight negotiating with foreign governments. With the State Department's Department of Defense. You know, it's helpful but also being in the courtroom."

Mayes points towards her terms elected to the corporation commission and her views on the constitution.

"This is a very important year for our democracy," said Mayes. "I'm running for Attorney General because I do believe that we must have an attorney general who will stand up for the rule of law, who will stand up for our Constitution, who will stand up for America's constitution and who will participate in the certification of fair and free elections, which we have."

Election Day is November 8th.