Originally Published: November 9, 2018 9:29 p.m.
PHOENIX — New vote totals late Friday now have Democrat Sandra Kennedy in a position of taking a seat on the currently all-Republican Arizona Corporation Commission.
With a strong showing in Maricopa County, Kennedy now has tallied 899,610 votes. That edges out Rodney Glassman by 1,672 ballots.
In fact, she is now within 1,821 votes of incumbent Republican Justin Olson who is seeking to hang on to the seat he was appointed to last year.
There are two posts to be filled on the five-member commission.
New figures from the Secretary of State’s Office estimate there are about 362,000 ballots still to be processed. That includes about 266,000 in Maricopa County and 60,000 in Pima County.
The strong showing for Kennedy as counties continue to count ballots is mirrored in several other hotly contested races.
Democrat Kyrsten Sinema has now opened up a lead of more than 20,200 votes over Republican Martha McSally out of more than two million ballots already counted as the pair compete to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake. If Sinema can hold the lead she will be the first Democrat to sit in the U.S. Senate since Dennis DeConcini retired at the end of 1994.
And Kathy Hoffman’s bid to become the next superintendent of public instruction got an added boost with the new returns, with her edge over Republican Frank Riggs approaching 32,000 votes.
The new tallies come on the heels of a settlement of a lawsuit filed by Republicans that questioned how some late-filed early ballots were still being counted in some counties — counties that have produced more Democratic votes — but not others.
Friday’s deal requires all counties to allow for the same kind of counting, a process that could produce some additional Republican votes. But there may not be enough in those 11 largely rural counties to make a difference. (See related story.)
The latest tally also has reduced the lead that incumbent state Sen. Kate Brophy McGee, R-Phoenix, has over Democrat Christine Marsh to just 616 votes.
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