Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) on Wednesday congratulated Katie Hobbs (D) on her victory to succeed him after Republican nominee Kari Lake declined to concede the race.
Hobbs was declared the winner of the high-profile gubernatorial race last week, and Ducey on Wednesday met with her 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 hard-fought race and offered my full cooperation as she prepares to assume the 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. “Our duty is to ensure that Arizona’s 24th Governor and her team can hit the ground running and continue our state’s incredible momentum.”
Lake, an ally of former President Trump, has declined to concede the race despite Hobbs leading her by about 17,000 votes, a margin above the threshold that triggers an automatic recount.
Prior to the election, the Arizona Republican declined to say she would accept the results of the race on multiple occasions.
Ducey in 2020 had drawn Trump’s ire after refusing to overturn the 2020 election results in the state.
“All of us have waited patiently for the democratic process to play out,” Ducey said. “The people of Arizona have spoken, their votes have been counted and we respect their decision. No matter who we voted for, all of us have a stake in Arizona’s success. Our future is bright and boundless. Let us never forget that as we begin this next chapter in our state’s history.”
Lake and others have taken aim in particular at printer malfunctions on Election Day in Maricopa County, Arizona’s most populous jurisdiction that spans the Phoenix area.
County election officials acknowledged 70 vote centers experienced the printer issues but insist that affected residents still had multiple ways to cast a ballot. They said the issue affected 7 percent of Election Day voters.
But Lake has posted a series of videos from Maricopa voters who raised concerns about the voting process. Many of those voters, however, did not assert that they were ultimately denied an opportunity to cast a ballot.
The Republican National Committee joined Arizona’s attorney general nominee in contesting the results of his race in a lawsuit on Tuesday evening, although that contest is separated by a far smaller margin of just 510 votes.