It’s not election season, but The AZ Data Guru still has news incoming:
Garrett Archer, the election data analyst who became a minor Twitter celebrity for his election-night updates, has left the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office. He announced his departure in a Monday morning tweet.
“I just decided that it was time,” Archer told The Arizona Republic in a phone call. “I had done what I wanted.”
In just over two years with the state, Archer — whose official title was senior analyst for election information systems — became a must-follow for Arizona politicos and news junkies. He tweeted detailed voter maps and tidbits of analysis, pointing out when a precinct had flipped parties or when early patterns had emerged.
And, on election nights, thousands of update-hungry Arizonans refreshed his Twitter feed, searching for news that a new batch of ballots had been counted. Archer let them know with what became a catchphrase: Incoming.
In the months around the 2018 election, Archer’s account swelled to more than 10,000 followers. In last year’s ‘Best of the Capitol’ contest, the Arizona Capitol Times nominated Archer for ‘Best Twitterer.’
After a particularly long season of ballot-counting, Gov. Doug Ducey thanked him — where else? — on Twitter.
Archer said he tweeted partly because of Arizona’s outsized number of early ballots, which often take longer to be counted and can leave election-watchers clueless.
“I was excited for what I did,” he said. I was excited for bringing that culture of data transparency during the election to the office.”
No word on whether the election-night tweets will continue.
Before joining the state, he worked in IT, political consulting, the state Republican Party headquarters and the office of Rep. David Schweikert. Former Secretary of State Michele Reagan hired him in September 2016.
He said his departure had nothing to do with the office’s transition to Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who took office in January. A spokesperson for Hobbs did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the secretary posted on Twitter that she wished Archer the best.
Archer knows his next move, but wasn’t ready to share the details.
“I’m real excited about what it is,” he said. “I think everyone’s going to be pleasantly happy when I say something, because it’ll say I’m sticking around.”
In other words: That news is incoming.
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