Politics

Sinema, D, takes small lead in Arizona Senate vote count


By John Wagner and Elise Viebeck | Washington Post

Democratic Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema has taken a narrow lead over Republican opponent Martha McSally in the Arizona Senate race as officials continue to tally mail-in ballots – a change in fortunes that could narrow the size of the GOP majority next year.

Sinema now leads McSally, 49.1 percent to 48.6 percent, according to results provided by election officials at 8 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday. The two congresswomen were separated by just 9,610 ballots cast statewide, with a Green Party candidate lagging far behind.

McSally had consistently led in the count since Tuesday’s midterm elections, but more than 400,000 ballots remained outstanding as of Thursday night, leaving the race in flux in a state where about three-quarters of voters cast ballots by mail.

The contest to replace retiring Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., is one of three that remain unresolved nationwide. While Republicans are certain to control the Senate next year, the strength of their majority could be less than it appeared on Tuesday.

In the Florida Senate race, the lead of Gov. Rick Scott, R, had narrowed to just more than 15,000 votes, or 0.18 percent, over Sen. Bill Nelson, D, as of Thursday night. That race is headed for a recount and could be mired in lawsuits.

Meanwhile, a race for a Mississippi Senate seat is headed for a runoff on Nov. 27. Republican incumbent Cindy Hyde-Smith faces Democratic challenger Mike Espy. Both candidates had about 41 percent of the vote on Tuesday.

As it stands now, Republicans will hold at least 51 seats in the Senate come January, while Democrats will hold at least 46, including two that will be held by independents who caucus with the Democrats.

Depending on the outcome of the remaining three races, Republicans could hold as many as 54 seats, while Democrats could have as many as 49.

Republicans currently hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate.

In Arizona, four county Republican parties filed suit Wednesday to prevent county recorders from trying to verify signatures after polls closed for mail-in ballots.

That drew a rebuke from the wife of late Republican senator John McCain, R-Ariz.

“I am one of those mail in ballots,” Cindy McCain tweeted Thursday at the Arizona GOP’s account. “I was under the impression my vote was always counted.”

In the Florida race, Trump tweeted Thursday night in support of Scott after the Republican candidate accused the election supervisors of Broward and Palm Beach counties of possibly committing fraud.

“Law Enforcement is looking into another big corruption scandal having to do with Election Fraud in #Broward and Palm Beach. Florida voted for Rick Scott!” Trump wrote.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., warned Trump and Scott against trying to influence vote-counting.

“In a democracy, no one – not even the President – can prevent the lawful counting of votes. We will not allow him or anyone else to steal this election,” he wrote of Trump on Twitter.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Politics

      

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