Democrat Katie Hobbs has declared victory in the race for Arizona secretary of state, and her Republican opponent called to congratulate her on winning.
The battle for the No. 2 elected position in state government has been too close to call for the past week. The Associated Press had declared Republican businessman Steve Gaynor the winner on election night. But the AP retracted the race call after vote tallies showed Hobbs taking the lead.
By Friday night, Hobbs was ahead by about 15,000 votes out of about 2.3 million cast in the Nov. 6 election. The secretary of state's office says only about 67,000 votes remain to be counted.
Tonight I called @KatieHobbs to congratulate her on winning the race for AZ Secretary of State. It was an honor to be the Republican nominee. Many thanks to everyone who supported my campaign. Best of luck to Katie.
— Steve Gaynor (@realSteveGaynor) November 17, 2018
Hobbs is currently the state Senate minority leader. The secretary of state is the state's top elections officer.
Secretary-elect Katie Hobbs released the following statement after winning the Secretary of State:
"Tonight we won the race for Arizona’s Secretary of State. I want to thank all of my supporters, volunteers, staff and Arizona voters for entrusting me with this responsibility. As Secretary of State, I will work to ensure that every eligible voter – Republican, Democrat, Independent, Green, Libertarian – can cast your ballot with the confidence that your vote counts and your voice matters, and do so in a way that is meaningful and convenient for you."
Gaynor is the owner of a Los Angeles printing plant. Critics labeled him a wealthy donor who paid his way into the race.
He defeated current Secretary of State Michele Reagan in the August primary after saying her tenure was riddled with missteps.