Former Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio told Newsmax Friday politics in that state was "dirty," though he expects GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake to eventually win the tight race with Democrat Katie Hobbs.
"It's not over yet, but I have full confidence that Lake and the other [Republicans] will pull it out," Arpaio said during "American Agenda" Friday. "But it's very dirty out there."
As of Friday, The New York Times has Hobbs about 27,000 votes ahead of Lake, 1,031,985 votes to 1,005,075 votes with 78% of the results reported.
According to the report, a record 290,000 ballots were dropped off in Maricopa County on election day alone, delaying the final count.
The report said that around 20% of the county's election sites saw dozens of machines malfunction on election day.
"I'm furious as hell that it takes this long," Darrell Cate, 56, told the Times. The voter said, "This is a county that can't seem to get it done in a week. I can't understand that. It irritates me to no end."
Arpaio said that he was proud of Lake, and that she can "handle" the adversity from the race and counting of ballots.
"She can handle it. She's got the courage to speak out," he said. "She doesn't hide. She's a different type of campaigner and candidate. I'm very proud of her."
Arpaio said he endorsed Lake for being "tough on the border," and that there "is a lot of politics involved in the whole situation."
Lake, endorsed by former President Donald Trump, has been outspoken about the problems in the 2020 presidential election, and has taken the media, of which she used to be a part of, to task for how it has covered the race and politics in general.
According to the Times, Lake said in a recent television interview that she was "100%" confident she will emerge from the race victorious.
Arizona Central is reporting that the vote count will likely "continue for days," as county officials again revised their estimate for determining the results in the race.
According to the news outlet, the ballots dropped off on election day typically favors Republicans and could put Lake over the top.
"Today, staff verified nearly all of the 290,000 early ballots dropped off on election day," the county said in a press release Thursday. "We will complete signature verification of the historic number of early ballots dropped off on election day [on] Friday morning."
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