Feathered Bastard

Tom Horne Ahead of Andrew Thomas (Now by 636 -- Updated 8/28)

(Alert: Please see 8/28 update below.)As of 6:36 p.m. today, the Arizona Secretary of State's office was reporting that state Schools Superintendent Tom Horne leads his rival, former County Attorney Andrew Thomas, by 485 votes in the GOP primary for state Attorney General.

SOS spokesman Matthew Benson told me that there are more than 21,000 ballots remaining to count in the state. The majority of those are provisional ballots, and most are in Maricopa County.

County elections issued a press release this afternoon stating that they counted 27,192 ballots today, and have 12,000 left to go. They've finished counting for Friday and will resume again tomorrow morning.

The count in the AG's race is turning into a roller-coaster ride. Thomas was up early Tuesday evening, but his lead flipped, leaving Thomas hundreds of votes behind by early Wednesday morning.

By the end of the day Thursday, Horne's lead had expanded to 1,073 votes. This morning, the scuttlebutt was that Thomas would be taking a powder by day's end. Indeed, his slithery PR flack Jason Rose Tweeted that Thomas would have a "statement" out in the afternoon.

Thomas has just admitted to KTAR that he was prepared to concede earlier in the day, but he changed his mind once Horne's 1,073 vote lead began to slide.  

So, Thomas is alive and twitching as of the moment. This guy's harder to be rid of than Robert DeNiro's character in Cape Fear.

Update 8/28/10: As of 4:52 p.m. Saturday, the Arizona Secretary of State's Web site has Horne up by 636 over Thomas. Maricopa County is still counting its remaining ballots, and will be doing so into the night, according to spokeswoman Yvonne Reed.  

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons