Hobbs maintains lead in secretary of state race as counting continues

Nov 13, 2018, 5:16 PM | Updated: Nov 14, 2018, 3:41 pm
(Facebook Photo/Katie Hobbs)...
(Facebook Photo/Katie Hobbs)
(Facebook Photo/Katie Hobbs)

PHOENIX – There was little change Tuesday in the last major statewide race yet to be called in Arizona, as Democrat Katie Hobbs maintained her lead over Republican Steve Gaynor in the secretary of state contest.

As ballot counting continued a week after Election Day, Hobbs lost about 400 votes after several counties reported results Tuesday, including Maricopa County. Her lead remained at more than 5,000 votes.

Gaynor led by around 44,000 votes on Election Day, when the Associated Press called it in favor of the Republican.

But as counties around the state continued counting early ballots that hadn’t been processed by the time polls closed, it became apparent the call was premature.

Gaynor’s lead was down to around 8,000 votes heading into Monday, but by the end of the day Hobbs led by more than 5,000.

She now looks like a good bet to join Kyrsten Sinema (U.S. Senate) and Kathy Hoffman (superintendent of public instruction) as Democrats who trailed on Election Day but surged to victory as counties got caught up tabulating early ballots.

Most of the remaining ballots are from Maricopa County, around 126,000, and totals from the Phoenix area have favored Democrats with each daily report since Election Day.

The remaining Maricopa County ballots are early, provisional and out-of-precinct ballots that were dropped off on Election Day.

“Some of the ballots we are currently processing require extra attention and research,” Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes said in a press release. “We are taking the time needed to make sure every voter’s voice is heard.”

All counties have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to “cure” early ballots with signatures that didn’t match signatures on voting rolls, but that only impacts a fraction of the overall vote.

Maricopa County election officials said they will continue to make daily reports at 5 p.m. and expect tabulation to continue into the weekend.

In the closest race in Arizona, Republican state Sen. Kate Brophy McGee was clinging to a 536-vote lead over Democrat Christine Porter Marsh in District 28.

Marsh is a former Arizona teacher of the year who decided to run for office in the north-central Phoenix district after getting involved in the Red for Ed movement.

The two Arizona corporation commission seats on the ballot still remain up in the air, too.

Democrat Sandra Kennedy leads the four-person race with 25.58 percent of the vote, and Republicans Justin Olson and Rodney Glassman were battling out for the second spot.

Kennedy had a lead of more than 10,000 voters over Olson, who led Glassman by about 4,000 votes.

No calls had been made in the race, but Kennedy issued a statement declaring victory.

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Hobbs maintains lead in secretary of state race as counting continues