Felecia Rotellini will be the Democratic nominee for state attorney general.
David Lujan conceded late Thursday that he cannot make up the more than 1,400 votes he would need to take the lead in the three-way race. He told Capitol Media Services he called Rotellini to congratulate her.
"She didn't even answer her phone,'' Lujan said. "So I had to concede by voice mail message.''
Who Rotellini will face, however, remains undecided.
As of late Thursday, state school Superintendent Tom Horne led former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas by fewer than 500 votes. Matthew Benson, spokesman for the Secretary of State's Office, said there were still an estimated 34,000 early ballots that had not yet been tabulated.
On top of that, there were another 20,000 "provisional'' ballots cast by people whose registration was questioned, perhaps because they showed up at the polls without proper identification. And those ballots will not be counted unless they show up with the necessary documents by the end of the day today (eds: friday).
The lion's share -- 25,000 uncounted early ballots and 12,000 provisional ballots -- comes from Maricopa County; comparable figures for Pima County late Thursday were 1,500 early ballots and 3,500 provision ballots.
Lujan, who has been House minority leader for the last two years, conceded that isn't likely to fall in his favor, as the latest count showed Rotellini was gathering more votes in not just those two most populous counties but also in Yavapai and Mohave counties.
He said having a three-way race may have hurt his chances, with Vince Rababo picking up more than 48,000 votes out of nearly 275,000 tallied so far.
"When you have two males and a woman (in the race), that's a good combination for Felecia in a Democratic primary,'' Lujan said.
All three Democrats have worked at one time as assistant attorneys general. Rotellini also was the superintendent of the Department of Financial Institutions during the administration of Gov. Janet Napolitano.
Terry Goddard, the current attorney general, is constitutionally precluded from seeking a third term. He is instead running for governor against incumbent Jan Brewer.