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AZ Democratic Gubernatorial debate becomes interview with one candidate absent

Posted at 10:22 PM, Jun 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-01 11:53:27-04

What was supposed to be a debate between Arizona's Democratic candidates for Governor ended up being a one-man interview with Candidate Marco Lopez and Arizona PBS’ Ted Simons.

After Wednesday night's contentious and often disjointed Republican debate, the former Nogales mayor and Obama administration alumni wasted no time Thursday sending jabs to his absent Democratic opponent, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.

“The refrain has now always become, 'Dónde está Katie,' where is Katie?” said Lopez.

We asked the Hobbs Campaign that question hours before the debate and got this response:

"Katie's out talking to Arizona voters, meeting them where they're at in their communities, and hearing directly from them about their most pressing concerns like how much groceries will cost next week or if their child will get a good education. As the only candidate on either side of the aisle with a clear path through the primary, Katie remains focused on the big picture: winning in November so that she can defend Arizona from Kari Lake’s conspiracy theories and never-ending lies that threaten Arizonans’ freedoms."

Lopez wants to put aside $2.5 billion for students prioritizing public schools over charter schools.

"We have to invest in our public education in district schools. Once we fix that, I'm happy to consider it,” said Lopez explaining the lack of equity with the current public education dynamic in Arizona.

Lopez was dubbed America's youngest mayor when he held the office for the border city of Nogales at just 24 years old.

His immigration plan calls on using $364 million to invest in infrastructure, technology, and manpower instead of focusing on a border wall.

“I'm tired of the smuggler winning and we have to go after this fentanyl, I think that is two areas the state government can partner correctly with federal government,” said Lopez.

On the supreme court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, Lopez unveiled a new plan to codify reproductive rights into the state constitution and pardon health care providers that perform abortions.

Afterward, Lopez told us women's reproductive rights are a top issue for Arizona voters.

“It's a difficult issue for me to fully comprehend. It's a difficult decision for women to make, with their families and healthcare providers,” he said.