Republican Kari Lake closes the gap in the race for Arizona governors
By JONATHAN J. COOPER, Associated Press
PHOENIX (AP) — The nation’s latest undecided race for governor narrowed even further on Sunday as Democrat Katie Hobbs’ lead narrowed against Republican Kari Lake in the race to lead Arizona, but he was too early to call.
Hobbs led by 26,000 votes, a 1 point margin, down about 10,000 votes from the previous day.
Lake has never led the race, but insists she will take the lead as the first ballots cast at polling places will be added to the tally. She won a majority of the 99,000 votes reported in Maricopa County on Sunday, but it’s unclear whether she’ll be able to close the gap with the roughly 160,000 remaining to be counted statewide.
The Associated Press has yet to call the race because there are still too many votes to count to conclude that Hobbs’ lead is insurmountable.
The Democrats have won the U.S. Senate and Arizona Secretary of State races, but Lake is outperforming the Republicans in those races. A former TV presenter, Lake is well known across much of the state and has attracted a strong following among former President Donald Trump’s supporters.
Lake is one of the most prominent election deniers running for office this year. His supporters have strongly criticized Arizona’s extended vote count, but that’s nothing new in a state where the overwhelming majority of people vote on ballots they receive in the mail. Maricopa County officials reported a record number of early ballots were cast at the polling place on Election Day, delaying counting while officials verified they were legitimate.
Republican Rep. David Schweikert took the lead for the first time, but had a less than 900 vote lead over Democrat Jevin Hodge in a suburban neighborhood of Phoenix House that Democrats hoped could help them defy expectations and to win a majority in the House.
In southern Arizona, Republican Juan Ciscomani maintained his narrow lead over Democrat Kirsten Engel for an open house seat.
Both races were too early to call.
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