• Lat­est to­tals push Sinema ahead by 20,000 votes, boost Dem can­di­dates in races for schools chief and ACC.

Sinema in­creases lead over McSally by 20,000 votes

Yuma Sun - - FRONT PAGE - BY HOWARD FIS­CHER

PHOENIX -- New vote to­tals late Fri­day now have Demo­crat San­dra Kennedy in po­si­tion to take a seat on the cur­rently al­lRepub­li­can 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.

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.

The lat­est vote tally also has re­duced the lead that in­cum­bent state Sen. Kate Bro­phy McGee, R-Phoenix, has over Demo­crat Chris­tine Marsh to just 616.

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.

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