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AP: Steve Gaynor Wins Arizona Secretary Of State Race; Katie Hobbs Not Conceding

Steve Gaynor and Katie Hobbs
Steve Gaynor and Katie Hobbs campaigns
Steve Gaynor and Katie Hobbs.

The Republican nominee for Arizona secretary of state, Steve Gaynor, has claimed victory.

That comes after the Associated Press called the race for Gaynor over Democrat Katie Hobbs on Tuesday night.

But several hundred thousand ballots had yet to be counted. Hobbs, in a statement, refused to concede and said she was still cautiously optimistic she would win.

Gaynor, who Gaynor spent nearly $2 million of his own money on his campaign, cited the AP in his acceptance speech.

“Not every vote has been counted, my opponent has not called me, but the AP is rarely wrong,” said Gaynor.

If the AP’s call stands, political newcomer and businessman Gaynor will have defeated Hobbs, the state Legislature’s former Senate minority leader.

Gaynor emphasized his business experience as the owner of a Los Angeles printing plant. Critics labeled him a wealthy donor who paid his way into the race.

He defeated current Secretary of State Michele Reagan in the August primary after saying her tenure was riddled with missteps.

The Secretary of State's Office handles voter registration and candidate filing. The secretary of state serves as acting governor when the governor leaves the state.

The secretary of state is also first in line to succeed the governor if the governor becomes incapacitated, leaves office or dies.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

Election Results

#ElectionDay In Arizona - Nov. 6, 2018

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Casey Kuhn reports from KJZZ’s West Valley Bureau. She comes to Phoenix from the Midwest, where she graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism.Kuhn got her start in radio reporting in college at the community public radio station, WFHB. She volunteered there as a reporter and worked her way up to host the half-hour, daily news show. After graduating, she became a multimedia reporter at Bloomington's NPR/PBS station WFIU/WTIU, where she reported for and produced a weekly statewide news television show.Since moving to the Southwest, she’s discovered a passion for reporting on rural issues, agriculture and the diverse people who make up her community.Kuhn was born and raised in Cincinnati, where her parents instilled in her a love of baseball, dogs and good German beer. You’ll most likely find her around the Valley with a glass of prosecco in one hand and a graphic novel in the other.She finds the most compelling stories come from KJZZ’s listeners.