Arizona AG: An Inconclusive Verdict on Andrew Thomas

The Republican primary for governor in Arizona was, in part, a referendum on whether voters approve of former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas' aggressive prosecutions of other Maricopa County officials. We now have a verdict: maybe.
by | August 26, 2010

The Republican primary for governor in Arizona was, in part, a referendum on whether voters approve of former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas' aggressive prosecutions of other Maricopa County officials. We now have a verdict: maybe.

On a night with several notably close primaries (Democrats for governor in Vermont, Republicans for Senate in Alaska), the Arizona AG race deserves a mention too. Currently, Andrew Horne, the state superintendent of schools, leads Thomas for the Republican nomination by a few hundred votes. The Arizona Republic has the latest:

After each came tantalizingly close to victory only to see the race swing to his rival, both GOP candidates for state attorney general may now wait until at least the weekend to learn who will go on to the November general election.

The seesaw battle Tuesday night and early Wednesday saw Andrew Thomas and Tom Horne swap leads in their bitter contest. As of late Wednesday, Horne held a razor-thin margin of a few hundred votes, but tens of thousands of ballots had yet to be counted, and Maricopa County officials warned that their tally likely would drag into Saturday night or later.

Even then, an automatic recount remains a possibility if the margin closes to within 200 votes.
 
Interestingly, Thomas has an ever-so-slight edge in Maricopa County itself, but performed worse in other parts of the states. And, Maricopa County Republican voters booted out Rick Romley, who replaced Thomas as County Attorney. Romley was strongly anti-Thomas. The man who beat him, Bill Montgomery, is a close ally of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, just like Thomas himself. In other words, even if Horne holds on against Thomas, his allies and his causes remain in good standing with many Maricopa County Republicans.
Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman  |  Former Staff Writer
mailbox@governing.com  | 

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