Arizona Democrat takes late lead in tight Senate race

Los Angeles (AFP) - A US Senate race that appeared to have been won by a Republican candidate was tilting in favor of her Democratic opponent on Thursday night, official results showed.

With almost all ballots counted from the November 6 election, Democratic Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema had pulled ahead to 932,870 votes against 923,260 for her opponent, Republican Congresswoman Martha McSally, who is famous for being America's first female fighter pilot to fly in combat.

A recount appeared possible in the neck-and-neck race that still had outstanding provisional and absentee ballots.

When she announced her US Senate candidacy, McSally took on a new mission: shifting rightward to make herself palatable to President Donald Trump, essentially squeezing out two extremists who likely would sink the party's chances if either one snatched the nomination.

Apart from the Arizona election, two more Senate races remain uncalled.

Florida's election appeared headed for a mandatory recount with Rick Scott, the state's term-limited governor up by just 17,344 votes, or 0.22 percent, against Democratic Senator Bill Nelson.

The race for Mississippi's junior Senate seat meanwhile will go to a runoff election on November 27 after Republican incumbent Cindy Hyde-Smith failed to reach the 50 percent threshold for an outright victory over Democrat Mike Espy, with a fellow Republican taking 16.4 percent of the vote.

Hyde-Smith is expected to prevail in the runoff.