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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke October 4, 2023

Katie Hobbs is still Arizona’s governor, despite online claims

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  • Katie Hobbs is still Arizona’s governor. On Sept. 27, the state’s treasurer said she would briefly serve as acting governor, as mandated by the state constitution, while Hobbs was out of state on business.

Katie Hobbs is still listed as Arizona’s governor on the state’s website, but some recent social media posts suggest she’s no longer in power. 

"BREAKING," a Sept. 29 Facebook post says. "Katie Hobbs NO LONGER governor of Arizona, Republican taken over | Kari Lake announces." 

"IT’S OFFICIAL!!" another post says. "ARIZONA HAS A NEW GOVERNOR!!"

A third claims Hobbs was "impeached" and is "no longer governor."

These posts among others were flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

These claims followed a Sept. 27 statement from Arizona Treasurer Kimberly Yee, who said she had "been notified that I will be serving as acting governor beginning later this evening until mid-morning tomorrow."

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The Arizona Republic reported that rumors from Fox News of Hobbs’ "mysterious disappearance" included unfounded allegations that the state Senate had indicted her on charges related to conspiring with a Mexican drug cartel. 

The truth won’t make as good of a movie plotline. Hobbs was in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 27 for a meeting about border issues with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the Republic said. She flew back to Arizona on Sept. 28. 

Arizona’s state constitution details a line of succession for statewide office holders to assume the role of acting governor if the governor leaves the state, however briefly.  

With Hobbs, Secretary of State Adrian Fontes and State Attorney General Kris Mayes all out of state for business meetings, the Republic said, the duty fell to Yee. 

Hobbs told Capitol Media Services that she doesn’t "stop being governor when I leave the state." 

And she was back in the state by the time these posts claimed she was no longer governor.

We rate these claims False.


Our Sources

Facebook post, Sept. 29, 2023

Facebook post, Sept. 29, 2023

Facebook post, Sept. 29, 2023

Facebook post, Sept. 28, 2023

Arizona Constitution, Death, resignation, removal or disability of governor or lieutenant governor; succession to office; impeachment, absence from state or temporary disability, visited Oct. 3, 2023

Capitol Media Services, Hobbs says she’s governor regardless of where she goes, Yee disagrees, Oct. 2, 2023

The Arizona Republic, Biden praises John McCain, excoriates Trump and 'MAGA extremists,’ Sept. 28, 2023

OFFICE OF THE ARIZONA STATE TREASURER, Arizona Treasurer Kimberly Yee’s Statement on Serving as Acting Governor, Sept. 27, 2023

The Arizona Republic, Fox News said Gov. Katie Hobbs disappeared. She didn't. This is where she was, Sept. 28, 2023

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Katie Hobbs is still Arizona’s governor, despite online claims

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