Judge releases recount results of 3 statewide races; including contested Arizona AG race

Published: Dec. 29, 2022 at 9:22 AM MST|Updated: Dec. 29, 2022 at 10:57 AM MST
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PHOENIX (AP) — A recount of votes has confirmed Democrat Kris Mayes narrowly defeated Republican Abraham Hamadeh in the Arizona attorney general’s race, one of the closest elections in state history.

The highly anticipated results announced Thursday in Maricopa County Superior Court are among the last in the country to come out of November’s election and solidified another victory for Democrats who shunned election fraud conspiracies in what used to be a solidly Republican state.

Mayes finished 280 votes ahead of Hamadeh. Mayes lost 231 votes in the recount.

Hamadeh attorney Tim La Sota declined to comment after the hearing ended. Mayes and Hamadeh were not in court during the hearing

Shortly after, Mayes released a statement on Twitter.

Judge Timothy Thomason, who also announced the results of recounts in two other races, said Republican Tom Horne prevailed in the race for state superintendent of public instruction and Republican Liz Harris won a state legislative seat in the Phoenix suburbs.

The automatic recounts were required because the races were so close.

Hamadeh, who hasn’t conceded to Mayes, had filed a separate challenge of the results in his race, but a judge dismissed that case last week.

Hamadeh alleged problems with ballot printers in Maricopa County had led to a series of issues that disenfranchised voters and that his race was affected by improper handling of ballots that were duplicated or adjudicated by people because they could not be read by tabulators. In throwing out the lawsuit, a judge concluded Hamadeh didn’t prove the errors in vote counting that he had alleged.

In the race for superintendent of public instruction, Hoffman had previously conceded to Horne, a former schools chief who served one term as attorney general before losing the 2014 primary.

Harris won a seat in state House District 13, which includes parts of the Phoenix-area suburbs of Chandler, Sun Lakes and Gilbert.

Although Republican Kari Lake filed an unsuccessful lawsuit challenging her loss to Democrat Katie Hobbs in the Arizona governor’s race by just over 17,000 votes, the governor’s race wasn’t close enough to trigger an automatic recount.

Recounts are required in Arizona in races where the margin between the leading candidates is 0.5% or less. Hobbs defeated Lake by 0.67%.

The judge who dismissed Lake’s case rejected her claim that problems with ballot printers at some polling places on Election Day were the result of intentional misconduct.

Lake, who has not conceded to Lake, is appealing the dismissal of her lawsuit with the Arizona Supreme Court. Hobbs takes office as governor on Monday.

Once a Republican stronghold, Arizona’s top races went resoundingly for Democrats. Republicans had nominated a slate of candidates backed by former President Donald Trump who focused on supporting his false claims about the 2020 election. In addition to Hobbs and Mayes, Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly was reelected and Democrat Adrian Fontes won the race for secretary of state.

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