Hobbs wins Arizona governor’s race, flipping state for Dems

PHOENIX (AP) – Democrat Katie Hobbs Elected governor of Arizona On Monday, Donald Trump lashed out at allies who falsely claimed the 2020 election was rigged and refused to say he would accept the results of his race this year.

Hobbs, Arizona’s secretary of state, came to prominence as a staunch defender of the legitimacy of the last election, and his Republican rival, former television news anchor Kari Lake, warned., as an agent of chaos. Hobbs’ win adds further evidence that Trump is weighing his allies on a crucial battleground as the former president prepares to announce his 2024 presidential run.

He succeeds Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, who is barred by term-limit laws from running again. She is the first Democrat to be elected governor of Arizona since Janet Napolitano in 2006.

“To the Arizonans who didn’t vote for me, I will work hard for you — because even in this moment of division, I believe there is so much more that connects us,” Hobbs said in a statement announcing the victory. “It’s not just about the election — it’s about leading this state and meeting the challenges of our generation.”

Lake tweeted after the call, “Arizonaans know BS when they see it.”

The Associated Press has called the governor’s race After the release of the latest round of votes, Hobbs gave him a pretty big lead, and the AP decided he wasn’t going to relinquish it. The AP concluded that although Lake is posting a much larger margin in poll updates from Maricopa County, she is not gaining a large enough share to overtake Hobbs and is trailing the rest of the vote.

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Counting of votes went on for days After Tuesday’s election, officials continued to count the bulk of late ballots.

A one-time Republican stronghold that Democrats have benefited from in the Trump era, Arizona has been at the center of efforts by Trump and his allies to cast doubt on Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential victory with false claims of fraud. This year, many Trump-endorsed candidates fumbled in general elections in battleground states, though he picked up Republican Joe Lombardo in the Nevada governor’s race.Defeated the incumbent Democrat.

Before entering politics, Hobbs was a social worker who worked with homeless youth and was an executive with a large domestic violence shelter in the Phoenix area. He was elected to the state legislature in 2010, serving one term in the House and three in the Senate, rising to minority leader.

Hobbs narrowly won Secretary of State in 2018 And Arizona has been thrust into the center of a political storm as the focus of efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 election, which he lost. He appeared constantly on cable news defending the integrity of the vote count.

The attention allowed her to raise millions of dollars and raise her profile. When he announced his campaign for governor, other prominent Democrats declined to run, and Hobbs won his primary comfortably.

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He ran a cautious campaign, mostly sticking to scripted and choreographed public performances. He refused to participate in the discussion with Lake, arguing that Lake would turn it into a spectacle by making conspiracy theories and false accusations.

He bet that voters would push back against Lake, who picked verbal spats with journalists as the cameras rolled and pitted against Democrats and Republicans who have long dominated state government.

Pre-election polls showed the race tied, but Hobbs’ victory still came as a surprise to many Democrats, who feared his timidity would turn off voters. He beat expectations, where most Arizona voters live in Maricopa and Pima counties, the metro Phoenix and Tucson areas. He spent a lot of time in rural areas to minimize his losses in traditionally Republican-leaning areas.

Lake is known throughout much of the state after anchoring the evening news in Phoenix for more than two decades. He ran as a fierce critic of the mainstream media, which he said was unfair to Republicans. He won Trump’s admiration for his steadfast commitment to challenging the results of the 2020 election, a stance he never wavered from even after winning the GOP primary.

He baselessly accused election officials of slowing down vote counting this year and favoring Democratic ballots as he narrowly trailed Hobbs in the days following the election.

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Lake mentioned the issue of printers On-site tabulators at about a third of Maricopa County’s polling stations caused some ballots to be rejected. Election officials told voters to put their ballots in a separate box to be counted later, but Republican leaders told their supporters to ignore that instruction, and lines in some places backed up.

The problem affected about 7% of the votes cast in person on Election Day and about 1% of the total vote in the county.

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said he had increased security around the election center on Monday, expecting a race to be called and emotions running high, adding that there was no specific threat. Protesters had been gathering outside the building for several days but remained peaceful, he said.

“I think we’re getting closer to the final game so I want to make sure we’re ready,” Penzone told reporters at a news conference hours before the race call.

Two years ago, the sheriff’s office stood guard when armed and angry protesters descended on the election building. Fox News then called in downtown Phoenix and AP for Biden in ArizonaDemocrats won the state for the first time in more than two decades.

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Learn more about issues and issues in the midterms at https://apnews.com/hub/explaining-the-elections. And follow AP’s election coverage of the 2022 elections at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections.

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