By Joseph Flaherty | Phoenix New Times
Former California congressman Frank Riggs has a narrow lead in the Republican primary for Arizona superintendent of public instruction, based on votes counted so far from last Tuesday’s election.
But as of Monday evening, Grand Canyon University instructor Bob Branch was trailing Riggs by just 295 votes. A recount will automatically occur if the margin of victory drops to 200 votes or fewer, according to Arizona law.
The incumbent superintendent, Diane Douglas, has been stuck in third place. She was about 3,000 votes behind Branch, according to the ballots counted as of Monday.
Also competing in the Republican primary are Tracy Livingston and Jonathan Gelbart, who fell behind Douglas with 20 percent and 15 percent of the vote, respectively.
These four Republicans, as well as apparent Democratic nominee Kathy Hoffman, are jockeying to replace Douglas, who was widely viewed as a vulnerable candidate in her bid for re-election.