(PHOENIX) — Democrat Kris Mayes is the winner of Arizona’s attorney general race, a state judge announced Thursday.
Mayes defeated Republican Abraham Hamadeh by 280 votes after a mandatory recount was triggered due to how close they were separated after the initial tally in November, when Mayes led by roughly 500 votes out of 2.5 million cast.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Timothy Thomason unveiled the results of the recount in a hearing on Thursday.
Mayes’ lead from November was nearly halved in the recount. The results showed she had 1,254,809 votes to Hamadeh’s 1,254,529 votes.
Mayes’ victory is another win for Democrats this midterm cycle against candidates who endorsed former President Donald Trump’s election denialism. In Arizona, a traditionally red state, Democrats defeated GOP election deniers in races for Senate, governor, secretary of state and now attorney general.
“I will say once again that I’m thankful to everyone who took their time to vote, and democracy is truly a team sport,” she said after the results were announced. “I’m thankful for my campaign, transition and legal teams. I’m excited to get to work as your next Attorney General and vow to be your Lawyer for the People. Onward…”
Hamadeh, who was backed by Trump, denied the legitimacy of the 2020 election.
In late November, he sued Mayes and a range of state officials alleging there were procedural and tabulation errors that, if corrected, would make him victorious.
The lawsuit was thrown out last week by Mohave County Superior Court Judge Lee Jantzen, who said Hamadeh failed to prove the errors he claimed happened. Hamadeh’s attorney also acknowledged he hadn’t gained enough votes during the litigation to change the outcome of the contest.
After the lawsuit was tossed, Hamadeh said he would wait for the results of the recount before deciding “next steps,” but continued to maintain the election was mishandled.
Following the announcement of the recount results, Hamadeh again claimed discrepancies and questioned the outcome of the race. He wrote on Twitter, “We MUST get to the bottom of this election. Transparent elections are fundamental to a democracy.”
Mayes celebrated the case’s dismissal last week and said she believed the results of the mandatory recount would still show her ahead of Hamadeh.
“The will of Arizona voters will not be undermined,” she said at the time.
Mayes, a former member of the Arizona Corporation Commission and a former Republican, campaigned heavily on reproductive rights and voting rights. She’s vowed not to prosecute abortion ban violations and to pursue threats to election workers.
Judge Thomason on Thursday also announced the recount results of two other tight races for state superintendent and for a state legislative seat. Republican Tom Horne won the race for superintendent of public instruction and Republican Liz Harris won the state legislative seat for House District 13.
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