Bob Stump Edges Closer Toward Victory in Corporation Commission Race

By Ray Stern

The latest election results show Republican Bob Stump's lead climbing in his bid for the third open seat on the Arizona Corporation Commission.

Last week, voters put two Democrats, Paul Newman and Sandra Kennedy, in the other two open seats. The two had hoped to be joined by Democrat Sam George, a.k.a. Sam Vagenas, but as election workers continued to count ballots this week, George's chances have grown dimmer.

As of 10:43 this morning, the Secretary of State's Web site shows Stump leading George by 3,102 votes. With tens of thousands of votes left uncounted, the lead is too small to call the race for Stump. However, the majority of the untallied votes are in the Republican-leaning Maricopa County.

If Stump wins, though, that might not be the last we hear of George in this election cycle. As New Times columnist Sarah Fenske wrote in July, George sued county officials and his political opponents after losing a race in 2006 for a seat on the Central Arizona Water Conservation District Board of Directors.

George (at left) dropped the lawsuit one day after he was allowed to examine the ballots for discrepancies.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.