Republican Kari Lake Narrows Gap in Arizona Governor Race

PHOENIX (AP) -- The nation's last undecided race for governor got even closer Sunday as Democrat Katie Hobbs' lead shrank against Republican Kari Lake in the race to lead Arizona, but it was too early to call.

Hobbs led by 26,000 votes, a 1 point margin, down about 10,000 votes from a day earlier.

Lake has never led in the race but insists that she'll take the lead as early ballots dropped off at polling places are added to the tally. She won a majority of the 99,000 votes reported in Maricopa County on Sunday, but it's not clear if she'll be able to narrow the gap with the roughly 160,000 remaining to be counted statewide.

The Associated Press has not yet called the race because there are still too many votes left to count to conclude Hobbs' lead is insurmountable.

Democrats won the races for U.S. Senate and secretary of state in Arizona, but Lake is doing better than the Republicans in those races. A former television anchor, Lake is well known in much of the state and drew a fervent following among supporters of former President Donald Trump.

Lake is one of the most prominent election deniers running for office this year. Her supporters have been highly critical of the protracted vote count in Arizona, but it is nothing new in a state where the overwhelming majority of people vote on ballots they receive in the mail. Maricopa County officials reported that a record number of early ballots were dropped off at the polling place on Election Day, delaying the count while officials verify they're legitimate.

Republican Rep. David Schweikert took the lead for the first time but was less than 900 votes ahead of Democrat Jevin Hodge in a suburban Phoenix House district that Democrats have hoped could help them defy expectations and win a majority in the House.

In southern Arizona, Republican Juan Ciscomani maintained his narrow lead over Democrat Kirsten Engel for an open House seat.

Both races were too early to call.