Grijalva, Giffords hold Congress leads

Southern Arizona’s two Democrats in the U.S. House are holding onto leads in their tight races with Republican challengers.

At last count Wednesday afternoon, District 8 incumbent Rep. Gabrielle Giffords had 119,690 votes to Jesse Kelly’s 117,241, according to the secretary of state’s website Wednesday afternoon. Giffords received 48.51 percent of the votes, Kelly 47.52 percent.

In District 7, Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva holds a lead over Republican Ruth McClung. As of 2:44 p.m. Wednesday, Grijalva had 61,814 votes (48.62 percent), McClung 58,112 (45.71 percent).

McClung has not given up.

“Until every last ballot has been counted, recorded and certified, I will not be conceding this election,” the Republican said in a Wednesday afternoon release. “Every voter has a right to have their voice heard, and in a race this close, I feel it would be unfair to my supporters and all the people who have worked so hard on this campaign if I did anything less than fight to the finish.”

“We will wait to see what the final results are before any further determination can be made,” McClung said.

The Giffords campaign believes it has won.

“We do not know what the final margin of victory will be,” said Rodd McLeod, campaign manager for Giffords for Congress, in an early Wednesday afternoon release. “Our analysis of the remaining early vote gives ample reason for confidence.”

According to the Arizona Secretary of State, all but one of the district’s 352 precincts has reported its results, the Giffords release said.

Thousands of early ballots were walked into the polls on Election Day in Pima, Cochise, Santa Cruz and Pinal counties. “These remain to be verified and counted,” the release continued.

“Gabrielle Giffords took the lead shortly after the polls closed,” said campaign chair Michael McNulty. “She was in the lead last night, she is in the lead now and she will lead when the count is complete.”

On Tuesday night, Giffords thanked volunteers and supporters for basing the campaign “not on politics but on solutions to real problems.”

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