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AP declares Kathy Hoffman winner of supt. of public instruction race

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — The Associated Press has declared Democrat Kathy Hoffman the winner of the superintendent of public instruction race over Republican Frank Riggs on Monday.

Earlier Monday, Hoffman expanded her lead over Riggs to more than 54,000 votes.

Hoffman had declared victory Sunday after extending her 43,000-vote lead from Saturday to nearly 47,000 votes.

The first-time candidate trailed by 8,000 at the end of Election Night with nearly 500,000 votes remaining.

She took the lead by 20,000 after the Thursday count, added another 10,000 vote advantage Friday and another 13,000 votes Saturday.

“I am thrilled beyond words,” Hoffman told ABC15 early Tuesday.

Riggs conceded the race on Tuesday, as vote tallies continued to come in, most being from Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties.

In a Facebook post, Riggs congratulated Hoffman but pointed to a “well-funded and orchestrated turnout effort that reversed the Election Day results.”

“I don’t have any additional information about the way ballots were handled and votes counted,” Riggs said.

“It’s inconceivable to me as a candidate that the election was conducted and ballots treated in a certain way in Maricopa and Pima Counties and differently in the other 13 counties of the state. This is a process that clearly calls for more oversight and possibly legislation to create a uniform, statewide election system.”

Arizona Democratic Party Chair Felecia Rotellini offered this statement congratulating Hoffman.

Congratulations to Kathy Hoffman on becoming Arizona’s next Superintendent of Public Instruction. Arizona’s students need a dedicated educator to turn our state’s public schools around and to hold Republican politicians accountable for providing our teachers with much needed and much deserved pay increases. Kathy is the embodiment of the #RedforEd movement, and she’ll direct that activist spirit into serving Arizona’s students.

Maricopa County still has approximately 143,000 votes that have not yet been counted.

Hoffman, who had been a speech therapist in the Peoria School District, is the first Democrat to hold the job since 1995.

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