Katie Hobbs and Republican Kari Lake got closer in the race for governor on Sunday.
But unless she does a lot better with the nearly 95,000 Maricopa ballots that still need to be counted, the Democratic secretary of state will be the next governor.
The most recent numbers show that 54.6% of the early ballots from Maricopa County, which were counted on Sunday, went to Lake.
But that gain was somewhat cancelled out by the fact that a majority of the nearly 12,000 ballots counted in Pima County went for Hobbs.
At the end of the night, more than 2.42 million votes had already been counted, and Hobbs still had 50.5% of the statewide vote. Lake was still behind by 26,011 votes.
Lake has been counting on these last votes from Maricopa County to put her over the top. She said that these were from people who took the advice of some Republican candidates and didn’t mail or drop off their early ballot but instead brought it with them to the polling place on Election Day.
There was a record number of “day-of” dropoffs, at 290,000. They are also the last ones who are counted.
But so far, it looks like Lake needs at least 60% of the Maricopa votes that haven’t been counted in order to beat Hobbs, which she hasn’t been able to do.
That also assumes that any gains she makes in Maricopa County aren’t cancelled out by the likely support Hobbs will get from the nearly 39,000 Pima County ballots that haven’t been counted yet.
Lake didn’t answer when asked for a comment.
But Nicole DeMont, who was in charge of Hobbs’ campaign, didn’t wait long to say that her candidate had won.
“Katie has been in the lead since the first round of votes,” she said. “And the results from tonight show that this won’t change.”
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Other statewide races that are still up in the air are still too close to call.
Kris Mayes has a big lead over Abe Hamadeh in the race for attorney general, but Republicans did well in the most recent round of votes counted. This made Kris Mayes’ lead over Abe Hamadeh much smaller. She has lost three-tenths of a point since Saturday when she had 50.2% of the vote.
But Hamadeh could easily wipe out her lead of 11,328 if she does well when more votes are counted on Monday.
And the current schools chief, Democrat Kathy Hoffman, is now tied with Republican Tom Horne, with only a 592-vote lead.
The vote count on Sunday did make Sen. Mark Kelly’s lead over Republican Blake Masters a little bit smaller. But Kelly, who has already been named the winner, still has 51.6% of the vote and is ahead of Masters, who has only 46.3%, by 127,746 votes. The rest of the votes went to Libertarian Marc Victor, who dropped out of the race last month. And since there are only about 160,000 votes left to count statewide, Masters can’t really catch up.
The same thing is happening in the race for secretary of state, which has already been called for Democrat Adrian Fontes. He is ahead of Republican Mark Finchem by 123,188 votes and has a 52.6% lead across the state.
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