Democrat Kris Mayes wins Arizona race for attorney general after recount

The state held a mandatory recount that saw Mayes beat her Republican opponent Abraham Hamadeh by 280 votes

Democrats won the race for attorney general of Arizona by a razor-thin 280 votes, a mandatory statewide recount confirmed on Thursday.

Going into the recount, Democrat Kris Mayes led her Republican opponent, Abraham Hamadeh, by 511 votes.

In other recounts, Tom Horne, a Republican, won the race for state superintendent of public instruction and Liz Harris, a Republican who has spread misinformation about elections, won a race for a state legislative seat.

All three winners had led going into their recount, an automatic process in Arizona in races where the margin separating the candidates is 0.5% or less of total votes cast.

Mayes’s win made official another Democratic victory in a statewide race in Arizona, long a Republican stronghold but increasingly politically competitive. Democrats also won the contests for governor, US Senate and secretary of state.

“I’m excited and ready to get to work as your next attorney general and vow to be your lawyer for the people. Onward,” Mayes said in a statement.

Hamadeh, who was endorsed by Donald Trump and spread misinformation about elections, declined to concede.

“A discrepancy this big in the recount calls for an inspection of ALL the ballots,” he said on Twitter.

Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican national committee, also called for a further investigation of the results.

“The recount in the Arizona [attorney general] race cut the Democrat’s lead by nearly half – from 511 to 280 votes,” McDaniel wrote. “What’s the explanation for why these votes were missed at first? That discrepancy is shocking, especially since a recount just puts the ballots through the machines again.

“This is one of the closest statewide races in Arizona history and we continue to support Abraham Hamadeh to make sure every legal vote is counted.”

One of the most significant changes in the recount totals came in Pinal county, just outside Phoenix. The county included 507 more votes in its recount total than in its initial canvass, an unusually high change for a recount. Of those votes, 392 votes went for Hamadeh and 115 were for Mayes, according to Votebeat.

The county said the votes had not been included in the initial tally because of “human error”.

The county also saw significant problems with its primary election and fired its elections director, Votebeat reported. The county has also seen significant turnover in its election staff.


Sam Levine in New York

The GuardianTramp

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