Democrat Katie Hobbs holds lead over GOP’s Kari Lake in race for Arizona governor

Nov 14, 2022, 6:40 PM | Updated: 8:37 pm

Arizona Democratic candidate for governor Katie Hobbs, left, and Republican opponent Kari Lake. (Ge...

Arizona Democratic candidate for governor Katie Hobbs, left, and Republican opponent Kari Lake. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Update: Hobbs was projected to become Arizona’s next governor on Monday night, according to The Associated Press.

PHOENIX — Democrat Katie Hobbs maintained a lead over Republican Kari Lake Monday evening in the race for Arizona governor.

Hobbs led by 19,494 votes in numbers released around 8:30 p.m. by the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office.

About 31,400 votes from Pima County were released Monday, while Maricopa County released 71,000 votes.

There were 1,266,922 votes for Hobbs and 1,247,428 votes for Lake.

“With the latest tabulation results from Maricopa, Pinal and Pima counties, Katie Hobbs is the unequivocal favorite to become the next Governor of Arizona,” campaign manager Nicole DeMont said in a press release Sunday night.

Lake, the former television news anchor with Fox 10, won the Republican nomination over Karrin Taylor Robson and centered her campaign around the values of former President Donald Trump.

Her television-ready demeanor, confrontations with journalists and combative message for Democrats made the first-time candidate a rising star on the right whose future in national politics is already being debated.

Hobbs, Arizona’s Secretary of State, easily won the Democratic nomination on the strength of her rebuttal of fraud claims pertaining to the 2020 election.

The two candidates never debated during the cycle, a decision Hobbs said was due to her belief Lake “was only interested in a spotlight and creating a spectacle.”

The results will be a window into the pulse of the electorate in Arizona, a longtime Republican stronghold that turned toward Democrats during the Trump era.

They’ll provide insight into whether Biden’s success here in 2020 was a onetime event or the onset of a long-term shift away from the GOP.

Tensions between Hobbs and Lake continued into the final weeks before the election.

Hobbs’ campaign office was broken into Oct. 24, a crime the Democrat attributed to Lake’s words and actions.

No link was found between the accused thief and Lake’s campaign.

Polling averages had the two candidates close in the months leading up to the election.

FiveThirtyEight had Lake up 2.4 percentage points, while RealClearPolitics had Lake with an advantage of 3.5 percentage points on Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Democrat Katie Hobbs holds lead over GOP’s Kari Lake in race for Arizona governor