The Arizona governor’s race between Katie Hobbs, the Democrat, and her Republican opponent, Kari Lake, remains tight early Monday, with Ms Hobbs maintaining a slight lead.
Results released in Maricopa County on Sunday night appeared to narrow Ms. Lake’s path to victory. She only won 55% of the vote in that batch — less than she needed to make a comeback — even though that group of ballots was seen as Republican-friendly.
After the vote tally was released on Sunday, Ms Hobbs’ campaign manager, Nicole DeMont, called her a “favorite to become Arizona’s next governor”.
“Katie has been in the lead since the first round of voting was counted,” Ms DeMont said, adding that with Sunday’s results, “it’s clear that won’t change.”
It was an unusual statement from the Hobbs campaign, which had previously only urged voters to remain patient and wait for the results.
Ms Lake, by contrast, has been projecting a big win for days and has suggested election officials were purposely slowing the results, baseless accusations that have prompted Republican lawmakers to ask Ms Lake to tone down the rhetoric.
If the Hobbs campaign’s confidence is earned, there’s a good chance news organizations could make a showing in the Arizona gubernatorial race on Monday.
Only about 160,000 votes remain to be counted; about 120,000 votes were counted in the state on Sunday.