GOP challenger Tom Horne increases lead over Education Supt. Kathy Hoffman
PHOENIX — Republican challenger Tom Horne extended his lead over incumbent Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman after more results were released Wednesday.
Horne held an edge of 8,718 votes as of around 9:30 p.m., according to Arizona’s Secretary of State’s Office.
The Republican led by 6,438 votes after Maricopa County reported a large batch of results late Monday night.
Both candidates have held leads in the race as ballots from the Nov. 8 election continue to be counted and released. It flipped multiple times on Monday, as Hoffman had taken a 3,119-vote lead after Pima County released results around 5:45 p.m.
Hoffman, who was a teacher and speech therapist before running for office, took control in 2019, while Horne previously served as the Arizona schools chief from 2003-11.
Horne was elected attorney general in 2010, a post he lost in the 2014 GOP primary after being caught using his office staff to run his reelection campaign.
Hoffman added millions of dollars into school safety programs to add hundreds of school counselors and social workers.
She told KTAR News 92.3 FM that her priority in her next term will be centered around school safety by shifting focus back onto a school safety task force she created at the start of her last term.
Hoffman oversaw the school system during the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During their debate in September, Horne said schools were shut down for far too long under Hoffman’s watch.
Hoffman defended her response, saying that in hindsight she may have made slightly different decision, but not substantially so, noting her intentions were to keep students and their parents safe and alive.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.