Tom Horne, left, apparent winner for attorney general, joins Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who also won Tuesday, at a Phoenix celebration. ROSS D. FRANKLIN / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Republican Tom Horne is the apparent winner in the state attorney general race, holding a substantial lead over Democrat Felecia Rotellini with nearly all the Election Day votes counted.

A large number of early ballots that were turned in at the last minute remain to be counted, however.

Horne spent the final days of election season on a campaign swing through the state with Sen. John McCain and Gov. Jan Brewer, before he attended the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hearing on SB 1070 Monday in San Francisco.

Likewise, Rotellini was campaigning through the state in the final days, dubbing her trip a "closing-argument tour."

Qualifications framed the race, with Horne alleging that Rotellini doesn't have enough prosecutorial experience to do the job, and Rotellini alleging that Horne's past financial sanctions make him unfit for the office.

Both candidates faced stiff competition in their primary races. Rotellini won hers by less than 2,500 votes, and Horne by 899.

Rotellini is a former assistant attorney general and former director of the state Department of Financial Institutions. Horne is the superintendent of public instruction who has reached his two-term limit in that post.

Rotellini called herself a career prosecutor, but Horne countered that she could provide proof of only a handful of jury trials that she prosecuted early in her career. She said she worked on cases even when she wasn't the lead attorney, and that several cases she prosecuted ended in plea agreements instead of trials, which still contribute to her experience.

She attempted to use Horne's lifetime ban from securities trading on Wall Street, to little avail. Horne wrote the incident off to inexperience during college.

She also charged he failed to disclose a bankruptcy and said he failed to manage other commercial business endeavors professionally.