Sinema wins Senate seat; Four Democrats have gone from losing in statewide races to winning after election day due to tabulation of early ballots

Kyrsten Sinema now up by 38,197 votes; Gila Herald projects Sinema as Arizona’s first female senator

By Jon Johnson

PHOENIX – With roughly 143,849 ballots still to be counted in Maricopa County and another 31,000 ballots throughout the rest of the state, Kyrsten Sinema (D) now leads Martha McSally (R) by 38,197 votes. That means McSally would have to win the final ballots left by a margin of about 22 percent to win. Something pundits say is extremely unlikely to happen.

With that information at hand, the Gila Herald is projecting Sinema to replace outgoing Sen. Jeff Flake (R) to become Arizona’s first female senator. If the results hold as the Gila Herald predicts they will, Arizona will have a federal Democrat advantage of 6-5 heading to Washington D.C. Sinema will be joined by fellow Democrats Rep. Tom O’Halleran CD-1, Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick CD-2, Rep. Raul Grijalva CD-3, Rep. Ruben Gallego CD-7, and Rep. Greg Stanton CD-9, while Sen. Jon Kyle (R) (who was appointed by Governor Doug Ducey to replace deceased Sen. John McCain on a short-term basis) will be joined by fellow Republicans Rep. Paul Gosar CD-4, Rep. Andy Biggs CD-5, Rep. David Schweikert CD-6, and Rep. Debbie Lesko CD-8. 

Martha McSally has seen her 16,000-vote election night lead turn into a 38,000-vote deficit after more than 400,000 early ballots were counted after election day. There are still approximately 175,000 ballots to be counted, but it would be an unprecedented turnaround for McSally to come back at this point.

Sinema was down roughly by 16,000 votes after election day, but county recorders advised they still had about 600,000 votes to count at that point.

McSally saw her lead dwindle day by day as updated counts rolled in, the last one showing her down by nearly 40,000 votes as of 5 p.m. Monday. After the latest results came out, McSally conceded defeat in a video in which she congratulated Sinema and wished her success in the Senate. 

However, Sinema is not the only Democrat to flip the outcome since election night. In the Secretary of State race which the Associated Press initially called for Steve Gaynor (R) on election night, challenger Katie Hobbs (D) has surprisingly come back to lead Gaynor by 5,667 votes as of the last update. Still, that race is too close to call.

This screenshot from the Arizona Secretary of State’s website shows the Democrats now winning while Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) retains his position. 

In the race for Superintendent of Public Instruction, Katy Hoffman (D) has also erased an election-night disadvantage and has surged past Frank Riggs (R) by 54,057 votes. The Gila Herald is projecting Hoffman to win the seat.

In the Corporation Commissioner race, Sandra Kennedy (D) was down to both Justin Olson (R) and Rodney Glassman (R) but Kennedy now leads with 992,644 votes compared to 982,171 for Olson and 977,862 for Glassman. Two candidates will be elected for spots on the commission.