A recount has verified that Democrat Kris Mayes narrowly defeated Republican Abraham Hamadeh in one of the closest races in Arizona’s history.
The much-anticipated results reported Thursday in Maricopa County Superior Court are among the last in the country to come out of the November election, and they reinforced another Democratic triumph in a state that was once overwhelmingly Republican.
Mayes finished with 280 more votes than Hamadeh, down from 511 in the first round. The discrepancy’s cause was not readily apparent.
Tim La Sota, counsel for Hamadeh, declined to comment following the conclusion of the hearing. Mayes and Hamadeh were not present in court for the proceeding.
In addition to announcing the results of recounts in two other elections, Judge Timothy Thomason revealed that Republican Tom Horne won the contest for state superintendent of public instruction and Republican Liz Harris won a state representative seat in the Phoenix suburbs.
Because the races were so close, the automatic recounts were necessary.
Hamadeh, who has not conceded to Mayes, filed a second appeal to the election results in his race last week, but the judge dismissed it.
Hamadeh said that difficulties with ballot printers in Maricopa County led to a series of issues that disenfranchised voters and that inappropriate processing of votes damaged his candidacy. A judge threw down Hamadeh’s claim after concluding he failed to substantiate the alleged flaws in vote counting.
Horne finished the recount with a 9,188-vote lead in the race for superintendent of public instruction. Hoffman had already yielded to Horne, a former schools superintendent who served as attorney general for one term prior to losing the 2014 primary. The recount resulted in a net gain of 221 votes for Horne.
Harris defeated Republican Julie Willoughby by 275 votes in the contest for state House District 13, which includes portions of the Phoenix suburbs of Chandler, Sun Lakes, and Gilbert. Harris gained five votes during the recount.
Despite the fact that Republican Kari Lake’s lawsuit challenging her defeat to Democrat Katie Hobbs in the Arizona governor’s election was unsuccessful, the race was not close enough to require an automatic recount.
In Arizona, recounts are needed when the margin between the top candidates is 0.5 percent or less. Hobbs topped Lake by 0.67 percentage points.
The court who dismissed Lake’s complaint rejected her contention that the malfunctioning ballot printers at several polling stations on Election Day were the product of deliberate wrongdoing.
Lake, who has not yielded to Hobbs, has filed an appeal with the Arizona Supreme Court about the rejection of her complaint. On Monday, Hobbs assumes office as governor.
Once a Republican bastion, Arizona’s top elections were won by Democrats with overwhelming majorities. In addition to Hobbs and Mayes, Democratic Senator Mark Kelly and Democratic Secretary of State Adrian Fontes were re-elected.