PHOENIX — A Democrat will be Arizona’s superintendent of public instruction for the first time since 1995.
The latest vote tallies showed Monday that Democrat Kathy Hoffman has a 54,000-vote lead over Republican Frank Riggs in the race to be the state’s top education official.
With Monday’s results, there are only about 175,000 votes left to be counted, most of those from Maricopa County. And the latest vote tallies from the state’s largest counties have been breaking heavily in Hoffman’s favor.
There was no immediate comment from Riggs.
Hoffman, a speech therapist for the Peoria Unified School District who was running on the wave of the #RedforEd movement, will assume control of the Department of Education from Republican Diane Douglas. Douglas was defeated by Riggs, a former California congressman, in a five-way Republican primary. Hoffman will be the first Democrat to hold the office since C. Diane Bishop.
The new vote tallies on Monday also produced welcome news for Democrat Katie Hobbs in her bid for secretary of state. With all the results of Monday added in, she now is nearly 5,700 votes ahead of Steve Gaynor, who has found his lead shrinking since the polls closed and the first results were announced. The total, however, remains too close to make any reliable predictions.
Incumbent Secretary of State Michele Reagan was out of the running in August after she was defeated in the Republican primary by Gaynor.
Democrat Sandra Kennedy maintains a 10,000-vote lead over Republican Justin Olson, her closest competitor, in the race for Arizona Corporation Commission. But even if that lead evaporates, Kennedy still has 15,000 more votes than Rodney Glassman, the other Republican seeking one of the two open seats.