Sinema takes the lead as Dems gain in statewide in latest tally

By: - November 8, 2018 9:39 pm

U.S. Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema speaking with supporters at a neighborhood canvas hosted by the Arizona Education Association at Provision Coffee Arcadia in Phoenix on Oct. 24, 2018. Photo courtesy Gage Skidmore

Kyrsten Sinema has taken the lead in the back-and-forth contest for the U.S. Senate seat, with votes counted on Thursday giving her a roughly 9,600-vote advantage over Martha McSally.

Sinema, the Demcorat, started the day trailing McSally, a Republican, by about 15,000 votes. But after Maricopa County reported the results of 129,000 ballots it counted today, the race swung in Sinema’s favor, and she had a 2,000-vote lead. Shortly after 5 p.m., results from Pima County — the state’s most populous liberal area — allowed Sinema to grow her lead.

Sinema wasn’t the only Democratic candidate whose fortunes reversed on Thursday: Kathy Hoffman overtook Republican Frank Riggs in the contest for superintendent of public instruction, and now leads by more than 20,000 votes.

Other races tightened, as well, and could turn into Democratic victories in the coming days as the remaining estimated 490,000 ballots are tabulated. In the race for Corporation Commission, former Commissioner Sandra Kennedy closed to within two-tenths of a percentage point, about 6,500 votes, of Republican Rodney Glassman.

And in the race for secretary of state, Republican Steve Gaynor’s lead over Katie Hobbs was cut from more than 30,000 votes to less than 20,000.

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Jim Small
Jim Small

Jim Small is a native Arizonan and has covered state government, policy and politics since 2004, with a focus on investigative and in-depth policy reporting, first as a reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times, then as editor of the paper and its prestigious sister publications. He has also served as the editor and executive director of the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting.