by Jim Nintzel
Republican Martha McSally led Democratic Congressman Ron Barber by 133 votes after Pima County completed a new batch of votes today.
But the margin is within the 200-vote threshold for a recount, so the race isn't quite over yet.
The recount is just the latest twist in a rematch between two candidates who were separated by less than 2,500 votes in 2012.
Pima County spokesman Mark B. Evans tells the Weekly that there are roughly 200 ballots left to count.
McSally expressed confidence that she would win the race.
“No doubt this has been a long process for everyone involved and we are grateful for all the support and encouragement we've seen,” McSally said via an emailed statement. “There are still ballots left to count, but we are confident that when all ballots are in, our lead will hold. We will continue to provide oversight of the process until then.”
But Barber spokeswoman Ashley Nash-Hahn said the race remained “too close to call.”
“This is the closest congressional election in Arizona history,” Nash-Hahn said via email. “The law calls for an automatic recount in a race this close, and that is where we are headed.”
She also suggested that Team Barber might take legal action to get provisional ballots that were tossed out by the Pima County Recorder’s Office included in the recount.
"We remain committed to protecting the integrity of the vote in Southern Arizona,” Nash-Hahn said. “In Pima County, 782 voters had their ballots rejected, and those votes have not been counted. During the legal recount process, we will work to see that every lawful vote is counted and that the voices of Southern Arizona are heard.”
More to come as we get more information.