PHOENIX — The race between Democratic state Senate Minority Leader Katie Hobbs and Republican businessman Steve Gaynor to be Arizona's next secretary of state is now too close to call.
The Associated Press had declared Gaynor the winner on Election Day. But votes that have been counted since Nov. 6 narrowed the race, and the AP retracted its race call on Monday. No new call will be made until the results of the election are certified by Arizona officials.
Hobbs now leads the race by about 5,000 votes, or less than 0.3 percent, with about 170,000 votes left to be tallied. Arizona typically counts its votes slowly.
Officials estimate that all ballots won't be tallied until Thursday.
More than 2.3 million votes were cast in the election.
Hobbs has been in the Senate since 2013 and highlighted her experience as a social worker and former head of a nonprofit group that helps abused women. She also served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2011 to 2013.
Gaynor spent nearly $2 million of his own money in the race. Gaynor emphasized his business experience as the owner of a Los Angeles printing plant. Critics labeled him a wealthy donor who paid his way into the race.
He defeated current Secretary of State Michele Reagan in the August primary after saying her tenure was riddled with missteps.
The secretary of state's office handles voter registration and candidate filing. The secretary of state serves as acting governor when the governor leaves the state. The secretary of state is also first in line to succeed the governor if the governor becomes incapacitated, leaves office or dies.