PHOENIX — Democrat Katie Hobbs has won the election for governor in Arizona, according to the Associated Press.
It was a tight struggle between Republican Kari Lake and Democrat Katie Hobbs, but Hobbs has always held a lead over Lake.
Hobbs, a defender of the state's 2020 presidential election results from attacks by Donald Trump's supporters, defeated Republican Kari Lake, a former TV news anchor and one of Trump's staunchest supporters.
Hobbs will be Arizona's fifth female governor and the first Democrat to hold the office in 13 years.
The decisive blow to Lake's fortunes came in the vote totals reported Monday night by Maricopa County, the state's largest county. Maricopa is home to more than six in every ten votes cast in the state.
Hobbs led by about 30,000 votes before the ballot drop. Lake won about 56 percent of the ballots reported Monday, narrowing Hobbs' lead to about 20,000 votes.
With an estimated 58,000 ballots left to count statewide, Lake would have to win 67% to tie Hobbs.
There remains a possibility that the final results will trigger an automatic under a new Arizona law. The threshold for a recount is a victory margin of about 13,000 votes or less.
Lawyers for the Republican National Committee have been laying the groundwork for a lawsuit challenging the election results. That lawsuit would focus on the alleged disenfranchisement of Republican voters due to printer breakdowns at Maricopa County vote centers on Election Day.
RELATED: Top official says Maricopa County vote count will end this week. What that means for the candidates
>>>EN ESPAÑOL: La demócrata Katie Hobbs derrota a Kari Lake en la contienda por la gubernatura de Arizona
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