Ducey Launches Transition, Though Lake Hasn't Conceded

'The people of Arizona have spoken,' GOP governor says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 23, 2022 6:40 PM CST
Ducey Begins Transition, Though Lake Hasn't Conceded
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey answers a question during a news conference in Phoenix in 2020.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File)

Outgoing Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said Wednesday his Republican administration will ensure an orderly transition to Democrat Katie Hobbs, his first public statement on her victory. Ducey met with Hobbs in his office more than a week after her victory became clear and days after the last ballots were counted, the AP reports. Defeated Republican Kari Lake has not conceded and has worked since the election to draw attention to voters who say they were affected by a problem with ballot printers at some polling places in Maricopa County. "All of us have waited patiently for the democratic process to play out," Ducey said in a statement. "The people of Arizona have spoken, their votes have been counted and we respect their decision."

Ducey called to congratulate Hobbs the day after the AP and other news outlets called the race, but he did not made a public statement about the outcome until Wednesday. Ducey was co-chairman of the Republican Governors Association, which spent more than $10 million on television ads attacking Hobbs, but he was not an enthusiastic supporter of Lake. He endorsed her rival in the GOP primary and, though he endorsed the entire GOP ticket for the general election, he did not campaign with Lake. Hobbs, currently secretary of state, has formed a transition team that is vetting potential staff and preparing for her to become the first Democrat to hold the state's top office since Janet Napolitano stepped down to be US Homeland Security secretary after the 2008 election.

On Tuesday, the Republican National Committee and the GOP candidate for Arizona attorney general, Abraham Hamadeh, filed an election challenge in his race, which is slated for an automatic recount with Hamadeh trailing by 510 votes. That challenge, filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, alleges a variety of problems affected the outcome. It says some ballots were counted that should not have been while others were rejected when they should have been counted. It alleges election workers made mistakes in duplicating ballots that could not be read by electronic tabulators and in determining the intent of voters when ballots were ambiguous. The suit says Hamadeh and the RNC are not "alleging any fraud, manipulation or other intentional wrongdoing that would impugn the outcomes of the November 8, 2022 general election."

(More Katie Hobbs stories.)

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