Andy Tobin wins Arizona’s 1st Congressional District GOP primary

Sep 2, 2014, 3:02 PM | Updated: 6:59 pm

PHOENIX — The race for Arizona’s 1st Congressional District is finally over, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Informal results posted at the Secretary of State site showed Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin with a narrow lead over rancher Gary Kiehne with all precincts accounted for, but results don’t have to officially be released until Sept. 8.

“I want to thank my supporters for all of their hard work,” Kiehne said in a release. “This was a hard-fought and very close election that we fell just short of winning. But that doesn’t take away from how proud and grateful I am to my supporters for everything they did to help our campaign.”

The Springerville rancher and businessman was trailing Tobin by just 324 votes
out of nearly 52,000 cast when he conceded, but just one county, Coconino, had
a large number of ballots left to count in the race — and Tobin was winning
there handily.

On Tuesday evening, Coconino County elections officials said they had completed
their count of the final 1,889 ballots, and Tobin’s statewide lead increased to
407. That’s well above the number needed to trigger a recount.

Tobin had held a lead of less than 500 votes in the week since voters went to
the polls. With Coconino and Yavapai counties finishing their vote counts
Tuesday, all ballots in the sprawling 11 county district were counted.

The race was called after Kiehne endorsed Tobin in November’s general election against Democratic incumbent Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick who took office last year.

“My top priority this fall is to see Republicans win here in Arizona, so I want to offer all of my support to our Republican nominee Andy Tobin and all of the other Republican nominees in the general election,” said Kiehne.

Tobin garnered nearly 36 percent of the vote to Kiehne’s 35 percent.

A third candidate, State Rep. Adam Kwasman, pulled in 29 percent of the votes. He has said he’ll support whoever becomes the Republican nominee.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Andy Tobin wins Arizona’s 1st Congressional District GOP primary