Democrat Sinema keeps small lead over McSally in Arizona Senate

PHOENIX (UPI) — Kyrsten Sinema, Arizona’s Democratic candidate for senator, maintained a small lead over Republican Martha McSally as several hundred thousand votes remain to be counted since Tuesday’s election.

The state secretary of state was releasing updates throughout the day Saturday. As of 2:45 p.m., Sinema’s lead was 18,539 with more than 2 million votes counted. Sinema had 995,093 votes and McSally 976,554.

On Tuesday night, the Republican had a small lead over her fellow current member of the U.S. House.

Sinema is ahead in Maricopa and Pima counties by a total 83,652 votes.

Late Friday, the Arizona Republic projected more than 360,000 votes left to count statewide, including estimated 266,000 from Maricopa County. Sinema is winning the Republican-leaning county by 3.3 percentage points.

The voting has been slowed by Arizona elections offices verifying signatures for those who vote by mail, which represents most ballots.

Sinema and McSally are outgoing members of the U.S. House.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee attacked Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes, a Democrat, saying he “has been using his position to cook the books for Kyrsten Sinema.”

Fontes has denied the Republican allegation that he has destroyed evidence.

On Friday, President Donald Trump posted on Twitter: “Just out – in Arizona, SIGNATURES DON’T MATCH. Electoral corruption — Call for a new Election? We must protect our Democracy!”

The outgoing senator, Republican Jeff Flake, dismissed Trump’s allegations.

“There is no evidence of ‘electoral corruption’ in Arizona, Mr. President,” tweeted Flake, who has clashed with the president numerous times on different issues. “Thousands of dedicated Arizonans work in a non-partisan fashion every election cycle to ensure that every vote is counted. We appreciate their service.”

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