On Wednesday, Phoenix police confirmed that the campaign headquarters of Katie Hobbs, Arizona’s secretary of state and the Democratic nominee for governor, had been burglarized the evening before. According to a police spokesperson, “items were taken from the property sometime during the night,” and on Thursday, the police tweeted that an arrest had been made in connection with the burglary. It’s unclear still as of Thursday afternoon whether the incident was politically motivated.
In a statement shared on Wednesday evening, Hobbs—who’s currently running a tight race against Trump-backed Republican Kari “women aren’t equal to men” Lake—emphasized that the burglary is the latest in a long pattern of violent right-wing threats against her, ever since she helped certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.
“Secretary Hobbs and her staff have faced hundreds of death threats and threats of violence over the course of this campaign,” the statement from Hobbs’ campaign said. It continued: “Let’s be clear: for nearly two years, Kari Lake and her allies have been spreading dangerous information and inciting threats against anyone they see fit. The threats against Arizonans attempting to exercise their constitutional rights and their attacks on elected officials are the direct result of a concerted campaign of lies and intimidation.”
In an interview with Jezebel earlier this year, Hobbs recalled that “far-right trolls threatened my children” and “my husband’s job as a therapist at a children’s hospital.” People “called my office saying that I deserve to die and asking, ‘What is she wearing today? So she’ll be easy to get,’” she told me. At one point, Donald Trump’s supporters gathered in a crowd outside her house. In August, the FBI arrested one man for threatening to bomb Hobbs’ “personal space” if she didn’t resign as secretary of state.
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Some on social media are comparing the burglary on her headquarters to Watergate, the 1970s scandal that revealed President Richard Nixon had been surveilling his political opponents.
As a proponent of disinformation about the 2020 campaign, Lake, the Arizona Democratic Party says, bears some responsibility for the threats and harassment targeting Hobbs. In a Wednesday tweet the Arizona Democratic Party called the Phoenix break-in “a direct result of Lake and fringe Republicans spreading lies and hate.”
“Unfortunately, Katie and so many other elected officials are victims of threats and intimidation tactics like this. Make no mistake—this is a direct result of Kari Lake and fringe Republicans spreading lies and hate and inciting violence—and it is despicable,” the party wrote.
To be clear, there’s nothing linking Lake’s campaign to the burglary. Despite claims from Lake’s campaign that Hobbs is smearing Lake and blaming her for the crime, neither Hobbs nor the Arizona Democratic Party have suggested she’s responsible for it. At the same time, it’s notable that the burglary comes amid ongoing, concerning threats targeting Hobbs that speak to the enduring harms of the Big Lie—a conspiracy theory that Lake has been peddling throughout the campaign trail.