Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) congratulated Katie Hobbs (D) on her victory as the successor Wednesday after Republican nominee Kari Lake refused to give up the race.
Hobbs was declared the winner of the high-profile gubernatorial race last week and Ducey met with her on Wednesday and offered his full support to begin the transition amid GOP allegations of voter disenfranchisement.
“Today I congratulated Governor-elect Katie Hobbs on her victory in a highly competitive race and offered my full cooperation as she prepares to take over leadership of the state of Arizona,” Ducey said in a statement.
“My administration will work to make this transition as smooth and seamless as possible,” he added. “It is our duty to ensure that Arizona’s 24th governor and her team are able to thrive and continue our state’s incredible momentum.”
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Lake, an ally of former President Trump, has refused to abandon the race despite Hobbs leading her by about 17,000 votes, a margin above the threshold that triggers an automatic recount.
Before the election, the Arizona Republican repeatedly declined to accept the results of the race.
Ducey had drawn Trump’s wrath in 2020 after refusing to overturn the state’s 2020 election results.
“We have all been patiently waiting for the democratic process,” Ducey said. “The people of Arizona have spoken, their votes have been counted and we respect their decision. No matter who we voted for, we all have a stake in Arizona’s success. Our future is bright and limitless. Let’s never forget that as we begin this next chapter in our state’s history.”
Lake and others are specifically targeting election-day printer malfunctions in Maricopa County, Arizona’s most populous judicial district, which straddles the Phoenix area.
County election officials acknowledged that 70 polling centers had problems with the printer, but insist affected residents still had multiple opportunities to cast a ballot. They said the problem affected 7 percent of voters on Election Day.
However, Lake has released a series of videos of Maricopa voters raising concerns about the voting process. However, many of these voters have not claimed that they were ultimately denied the opportunity to vote.
The Republican National Committee joined Arizona’s nominated attorney general to challenge the results of his race in a lawsuit Tuesday night, though that contest is separated by a far narrower margin of just 510 votes.