Kris Mayes’ lead narrows to nearly 100 votes over Abe Hamadeh in attorney general race

Republican candidate for attorney general Abraham Hamadeh says, “it's unfortunate we don’t have the election results."
Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 12:43 AM MST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2022 at 4:23 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Republican Abe Hamadeh is close to catching up to Democrat Kris Mayes in a narrow attorney general race. As of Thursday afternoon following ballot drops from Pina and Cochise counties, Mayes leads by only 94 votes after leading by over 700 the previous night. As of 3:45 p.m., Mayes has 1,250,434 votes, while Hamadeh has 1,250,340 votes.

Mayes has seen her lead shrink significantly since Election Day. On Saturday, Mayes led by nearly 14,000 votes, one of her largest leads in the race. Hamadeh has since closed that gap after more ballots have been tabulated in Arizona. Since election night, Hamadeh has come close to surpassing Mayes, but she has kept a slim lead. Unless something drastic happens, the race will be within that 0.5% margin that sparks an automatic recount. That process would start in December.

Hamadeh tweeted several hours after GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake posted a video on Twitter, doubling down on tabulation issues on Election Day. Hamadeh said, Without election integrity NOTHING else matters.” He also shared his support for former President Donald Trump, who announced he would be launching his third campaign for President. “President Trump took a chance on me… I’m a 31 year old son of Syrian immigrants who wanted to save our country and Trump supported and endorsed me. I will be forever grateful. Thank you 45/47. America is coming back,” he posted on Twitter.

On Wednesday, Mayes took to Twitter, reminding people to cure their ballots and saying, “every vote matters!” Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus even showed her support for Mayes, echoing Mayes’ reminders of curing ballots. “If you live in Arizona, please make sure your ballot is counted as Kris Mayes is in a very close race for Attorney General!” she said on Twitter.

Over the weekend, Hamadeh tweeted to his supporters, claiming the voting machine issues on Election Day were “voter suppression.” “Remember: 72%+ of the votes on Election Day in person were Republican. When you have 30% of the tabulating machines failing, causing people to leave the lines and give up. This is voter suppression targeting a political party,” he tweeted. Mayes tweeted last Wednesday, thanking all election workers counting ballots. “Sending a big, heartfelt thank you to every elections official & worker who is taking the time to make sure every one of our votes is counted. We appreciate you,” she tweeted.

Election Night

Hamadeh took the stage just before midnight on election night, confident that he will become the next attorney general. “We didn’t go through all this hard work to only get here, right? We came to finish what we started. And it started with securing our elections,” he said. Hamadeh then spoke about the Maricopa County tabulation problems. At 60 of the 223 voter centers, some machines were rejecting ballots. “If you see what we just witnessed in the past 24 hours is incompetence,” he said. “The biggest threat to democracy is incompetent elected officials.” Hamadeh then referred to Kari Lake as the next governor of Arizona, vowing the two will fix voting issues in Arizona.

Mayes spoke to Democratic supporters early Tuesday evening, shortly after the first batch of ballots was reported. “We are in this because we believe in democracy!” Mayes said to the crowd, who began cheering and clapping. “I joined this race 17 months ago because I was concerned about our state and the lack of real leadership, our underfunded schools, our water crisis, the growing fentanyl crisis in this state, and so many other things that impact the daily lives of Arizonans.” Mayes said if elected attorney general, she would not prosecute doctors, nurses or women for having an abortion.

Attorney general nominee Kris Mayes thanks Arizona Democrats on election night after the first round of election results is revealed.

Mayes is a former Arizona Corporation commissioner and current law professor. She previously said one of her focuses was on “depoliticizing” the office and wanted to work on restoring the public’s confidence in our election processes. Meanwhile, for Hamadeh, he said border security and addressing the fentanyl crisis are two of his top priorities if elected attorney general.