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Arizona Sen. Katie Hobbs to run for secretary of state

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PHOENIX — Arizona Senate Minority Leader Katie Hobbs announced Wednesday that she will run for Arizona secretary of state next year, which could pit her against a local mayor in the primary.

Hobbs tweeted out the news and released a statement online.

Hobbs is the second Democrat to have shown interest in replacing Republican incumbent Michele Reagan. Last fall, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton filed paperwork to explore a run at the second-highest office in the state (Arizona doesn’t have a lieutenant governor).

In case of an unexpected vacancy, the secretary of state would succeed the governor.

The secretary of state’s office oversees elections, its most important function.

“As Secretary of State I will do everything in my power to protect every citizen’s right to vote and bring competency back to the office to restore confidence in Arizona’s elections,” Hobbs said in the statement.

Reagan was elected to the office in 2014. She succeeded Republican Ken Bennett. Her current term ends January 2019.

During her tenure, Reagan (and former Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell) has taken heat for election gaffes in 2016 that left Phoenix-area voters waiting in long lines for hours. That drew national attention. Also on Reagan’s watch, the office failed to mail pamphlets regarding a special election.

State Attorney General Mark Brnovich said that broke the law, but gave the election the green light.

Reagan has created a committee for a 2018 re-election campaign.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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