1 Democrat, 1 Republican seem headed for Arizona commission
PHOENIX — Final election results posted for Arizona on Monday evening show Democrat Sandra Kennedy and Republican Justin Olson headed for victory in a four-way race for two seats on the state’s Corporation Commission.
Kennedy, with 25.72 percent of votes, and Olson, with 25.17 percent, maintained the leads they had held in recent days as the state’s largest county Maricopa posted the final vote counts for Arizona.
If certified during the final canvasses by the Arizona’s 15 counties on Nov. 26 and by the secretary of state on Dec. 3, the win by Kennedy would put a woman on a utility commission that currently has five male members. Kennedy is a former commission member and former lawmaker.
A win by Olson would let him keep the commission post he got when appointed by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey to fill a vacancy.
The commission oversees service and rates charged by electric, water and natural gas utilities.
Republican Rodney Glassman, a Phoenix attorney and former Tucson city councilman, was in a tight third with 25.06 percent of votes. Democrat Kiana Maria Sears, a former commission consultant, lagged behind.
Kennedy’s apparent win means that Democrats will likely hold three statewide Arizona offices next year, including secretary of state and superintendent of public instruction, after not holding any state posts since 2011.
Democrat Katie Hobbs declared victory in the secretary of state race and her Republican challenger has congratulated her on the win. Democrat Kathy Hoffman won Arizona’s schools chief job.
Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes said voters in his county cast ballots in record numbers in the Nov. 6 election.
“Finishing the ballot count was no easy task, but the Elections Department staff and volunteers were up to the challenge,” he said in a statement.
Arizona’s Secretary of State data analyst Garrett Archer said in a post on his popular Twitter account The AZ Data Guru that Maricopa County had surpassed its turnout record of 64.15 percent set in 1982.
Statewide, the final tally was 2,409,907 ballots cast, according to Archer, a turnout of 64.85 percent. He noted that was .27 percent off the record of 65.12 percent set in 1982.