The end is apparently at hand for former County Attorney Andrew Thomas.
Sources within the campaign of state Schools Superintendent Tom Horne, Thomas' rival in the GOP primary for state Attorney General, have told me that they expect Thomas to concede today.
As if to confirm this, Thomas' PR flack Jason Rose Tweeted minutes ago, "Andrew thomas statement later this afternoon. Media avails 530p on."
Horne was not immediately available, but Horne staffer Amy Rezonnico texted this comment to New Times early this morning:
"andy thomas is supposed to call tom horne and concede and then put out a statement (this is what we were told) lets hope it happens."
All this chatter is backed up by the cold reality of the numbers. As of 10:26 this morning, Horne was ahead of Thomas by 891 votes, according to the Arizona Secretary of State's election page.
That means Thomas made up some lost ground since last night, when Horne was leading Thomas by 1,073.
But with more than half the outstanding early and provisional ballots having already been counted, it seems unlikely that Thomas could narrow the gap to less than 200 votes, which is what would be necessary to trigger a recount.
Although interim Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley was defeated in his GOP primary by Sheriff Joe Arpaio's boy Bill Montgomery, Romley helped Horne immensely by releasing details of a grand jury in which Thomas' special prosecutor sought indictments against county manager David Smith and Superior Court Judge Gary Donahoe, in addition to other county officials.
Many Republicans told me they were disgusted by the revelation that the grand jury had voted to end the inquiry, yet Thomas' apparatchiks continued the witch-hunt apace.
This, despite the fact that tuskers liked Thomas' hard-line, anti-illegal immigration stance. The issue of immigration has become a bright line in GOP circles. Those who attempt to tip-toe around it are immediately condemned as RINOs, or worse, "open-borders anarchists."
Not that Horne is any piker in this department, but his utterances on the issue have never come close to the extremism of Thomas' rhetoric.
Nevertheless, a lot of GOPers have been unnerved by Thomas' vindictiveness and willingness to go after his perceived enemies, whether Democrat, Republican or none of the above.
And so Thomas has been the architect of his own comeuppance. That's sweet to observe for those who know him as a dangerous radical and political opportunist.
The pending loss is also Arpaio's, who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on ad buys dissing Horne. While similar ads assisted Montgomery's triumph over Romley, even Joe's imprimatur could not overcome Thomas' record of deceit, abuse of power, and lust for revenge.