Hobbs captures lead in secretary of state race, Kennedy expands Corp Comm lead

Katie Hobbs speaking with supporters at the Women Together Arizona Summit in September 2016. Photo by Gage Skidmore | Flickr

Katie Hobbs, a veteran Democratic legislator and social worker, has her first daily lead in the race for secretary of state over Republican businessman Steve Gaynor.

Hobbs led Gaynor by 5,667 votes when all of Monday’s ballot tabulation was accounted for.

The secretary of state is first in the line of succession to be governor. Arizona has not elected a Democrat to the post since 1991, when voters chose Richard Mahoney over Republican Ray Rottas.

On Election Day, the Associated Press called the race in Gaynor’s favor, even though he had a narrow lead over Hobbs and there were more than 900,000 votes left to be counted statewide. On Monday, the AP retracted its call.

There are approximately 170,000 votes that have not yet been counted. More than 80 percent of those are in Maricopa County, which has narrowly favored Hobbs, and another 11 percent are in Pima County, where Hobbs has a large lead.

In the race for two seats on the Corporation Commission, Sandra Kennedy has a nearly 15,000-vote cushion and is currently the top vote-getter, over Republican incumbent Justin Olson and Republican newcomer Rodney Glassman.

Since Election Day, both Hobbs and Kennedy have overcome significant deficits to capture the leads in their respective races. At one point, Hobbs trailed Gaynor by roughly 44,000 votes, and Kennedy trailed the two Republicans by more than 22,000 votes.

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, the Yellow Sheet Report and Arizona Legislative Report. Under his guidance, the Capitol Times won numerous state, regional and national awards for its accountability journalism and probing investigations into state government operations.

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