UPDATE: “We will process the remaining 576 ballots on Tuesday the 13th at the earliest and hopefully by Thursday the 15th at the latest. Thanks.” – Kevin Scholl, LPC Elections
Key local races in La Paz County were too close to call at the end of election night.
The first unofficial results were released late on Tuesday night, with ballots from all 11 precincts included in the count. But because they don’t include over 550 so-called ‘late early’ ballots – voters who cast their votes early, but close to election day – and provisional ballots – also still to be counted – the available results left some uncertainty as to what the final tally will be. By Parker Live’s estimate, there is around 11 percent left to count.
In the closely-watched race for Judge of the Superior Court, Karen Hobbs and Jessica Quickle faced off in an extremely close contest, which is still too close to call with less than 1 percent margin. Hobbs, the current Deputy County Attorney, was off to a good start in the earliest count, with more than 200 votes separating her from Quickle. By the last count of the night, in the unofficial tally (not including the 550 ballots mentioned earlier), Hobbs’s count was up to 1916 while Quickle had 1894.
The contest was opened up when Judge Matthew Newman announced his intention to retire after less than 2 years on the bench, leaving a small pool of candidates who could meet the strict criteria to run for the job. Hobbs beat out Daniel Terrell in the August primary by just 12 votes, less than a percentage point. Since then, she has suffered some hard public moments in court, with defeats in a couple of high profile homicide trials, while Quickle has managed to stay largely under the public radar. But support for Hobbs in the meantime has translated to votes, where she is now separated from Quickle by only 0.57 points. Final results will likely not be known until next Tuesday to Thursday.
Tiffany Dyer, who has been the acting Justice of the Peace for Precinct 6, will keep the job. After an easy win in the primary, she defeated Libertarian Kenneth MacFarland in Tuesday’s election with 78 percent of the vote, or 1966 to 558.
La Paz County officials were keen to find out the results of the county’s Proposition 402, which asked for a permanent raise to the expenditure limitation, allowing the county more ‘breathing room’ in its fiscal operations. This proposition makes permanent what the voters approved temporarily earlier this year. The unofficial tally by the end of the night was ‘Yes’ at 2322, ‘No’ at 2003. As with the other results, 550 more ballots will be added to the count, making a ‘Yes’ result very likely but not absolutely certain.
La Paz County’s pick for the U.S. Senate is Republican Martha McSally, but the statewide race is extremely close and cannot be called for either candidate tonight. The county also picked Paul Gosar for the U.S. House, Doug Ducey for Governor, Steve Gaynor for Secretary of State and Frank Riggs for Superintendent of Public Instruction.
As the county’s ballot-counting machine, ‘Daisy Sue’, cooled off after being run for several hours at the county boardroom, the fate of these key local races was still to be known. Parker Live will publish the final results when available, and you can watch our home page for any smaller updates through the week.