PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - With just one business day left before the general election, candidates are in the final push to sway voters.

Arizona’s Secretary of State race is still very close; polls have Democrat Katie Hobbs leading Republican Steve Gaynor by just 1.2 percentage points – still within the margin of error.

Hobbs is currently the state’s Senate Minority Leader, while businessman Gaynor is running for office for the first time.

“This is someone who came out of nowhere and is trying to buy the seat,“ Hobbs said of her opponent. “Nobody really knows why. He doesn’t seem to have a good grasp of the Secretary of State’s office.”

Gaynor has spent $2.3 million of his own money on his campaign.

“I think it’s better for people to feel that I’m not beholden to anybody,” he said. When I get up in the morning the only thing I answer to is the guy I’m looking at in the mirror.”

Gaynor says Hobbs is outspending him with money that comes from out-of-state. Meanwhile she’s making promises of investigations and enforcement referrals when it comes to dark money violations.

“I believe voters have a right to know who’s trying to influence our elections,” she said. “This is an ongoing issue. It’s not something you just fix and it’s done.”

Meanwhile, radio ads claim Gaynor wants federal law changed so that ballots only have to be provided in English.

“The Secretary of State doesn’t print ballots; the county people do,” Gaynor responded. “As Secretary of State I would oversee the county and make sure they follow the law.”

Hobbs says the current administration has dismissed the threat of election security and hacking. She wants to bring in cybersecurity experts to help address the issue.

“I think what’s at stake in this election is ensuring that Arizonans have elections that are secure, fair and efficient,” she said.

A lot of people have wondered why Gaynor would spend so much of his own money for a job that pays $70,000 or $80,000. He says he’s not looking for a financial return, but a return in public service.

We asked if that means he’s planning a bid for governor, but he said that was not on his mind when he began his campaign.

“I’m focused on Secretary of State. That’s an office that I felt needed help,” he said.

 


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