Steve Gaynor’s lead over Katie Hobbs shrinks again in Arizona secretary of state race

The race for Arizona secretary of state tightened further Friday night, with Democrat Katie Hobbs closing in on Republican businessman Steve Gaynor, shrinking his lead to about 10,000 votes.

Gaynor has led Hobbs since Tuesday, but his margin was cut almost in half after about 80,000 more ballots were tallied by Maricopa County. He was ahead by less than 1 percent late Friday.

There were still more than 360,000 uncounted votes statewide and about 266,000 in Maricopa County, where Gaynor leads Hobbs by a razor-thin margin. More updates were expected through the weekend.

The Associated Press called the race for Gaynor on Tuesday night, but he hasn’t declared victory outright.

“It’s a close race,” Gaynor told supporters on Tuesday. “We’re going to fight to the end, and hopefully, when the race is called, we’ll be victorious.”

Here’s how to check if your early ballot was counted in Maricopa County

Here’s why there are still so many votes left to count in Arizona

Hobbs’ campaign criticized the Associated Press for the projection given the thin margin and hundreds of thousands of uncounted ballots.

In Arizona, the secretary of state is the No. 2 statewide-elected official, next in line to succeed the governor if he or she leaves office early. That has happened four times since the late 1970s.

The secretary of state’s primary duty is managing the statewide elections system, which has faced a string of problems in recent years.

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