Abe Hamadeh makes inaccurate claim about Katie Hobbs’ role in recount

Dec 23, 2022, 11:45 AM

(Getty Images Photos)...

(Getty Images Photos)

(Getty Images Photos)

PHOENIX — While waiting for the recount results from his loss in the Arizona attorney general’s race, Republican Abe Hamadeh on Friday inaccurately accused Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs of breaking the law during the process.

“Katie Hobbs had the results of the recount illegally sent to her office for ‘reconciliation and accuracy’ when it should have gone from the counties directly to the court,” Hamadeh tweeted.

The tweet was sent at 8:30 a.m. and had been retweeted more than 4,500 times within two hours.

A follow-up tweet said Hobbs and other Democrats “have contempt for the law and mock judges.”

It is true that the counties are sending results to Hobbs’ office, but not at her request; they are actually following directions from the state judge tasked with overseeing the automatic recounts for three races, including Hamadeh’s.

Each of the state’s 15 county boards of supervisors was told to “certify, through their designees, their recount results to the Secretary of State” in a Dec. 5 order from Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Timothy Thomason.

The order requires the results to be kept private until the court certifies them.

Thomason initially scheduled the release hearing for Wednesday, Dec. 21, but moved it to Thursday, Dec. 29. Hobbs’ office requested the delay earlier this week because, in part, one county hadn’t yet certified its recount.

The Secretary of State’s office has a webpage that tracks the recount process. As of Friday morning, it showed that Pinal County was still working on the post-tabulation audit process.

Another factor in the delay is that Hamadeh is pursuing a legal challenge to his razor-thin 511-vote loss to Democrat Kris Mayes in the attorney general’s race. The case was being heard on Friday. Attorney general is Arizona’s chief legal officer and is tasked with providing legal advice to most state agencies.

Republican Kari Lake’s legal challenge to her loss to Hobbs in the race for governor also is ongoing, but that contest wasn’t close enough require an automatic recount under state law.

In addition to attorney general, the races for superintendent of public instruction and the second state House seat from District 13 finished under the .5-percentage point threshold to trigger a full recount.

Republican Tom Horne outdistanced Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman, the Democratic incumbent, by 8,967 votes (.35 percentage points).

Liz Harris finished in front of fellow Republican Julie Willoughby by just 270 votes (.2 percentage points) for the second District 13 seat. Democrat Jennifer Pawlik finished first in the race by a large enough margin to clinch her spot.

The recount process couldn’t begin until after the official results were certified at the statewide canvass on Dec. 5. Hobbs, as required by state law, filed documents with the state court system to initiate the process later that day.

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Abe Hamadeh makes inaccurate claim about Katie Hobbs’ role in recount