Late Sunday, Marilyn Zerull learned she may have won a Republican nomination for the Arizona House in District 26.
There was no celebration for Zerull, who originally trailed Trent Humphries in last Tuesday’s primary, and in fact had conceded the election to him.
Lynn Zerull, Marilyn’s husband of 35 years, died earlier in the day Sunday.
Still-unofficial results updated Monday showed Marilyn Zerull edged Trent Humphries by 50 votes, 9,405-9,355. Vic Williams led the Republican field with 10,737 votes in District 26, which includes much of the Northwest as well as SaddleBrooke in Pinal County.
Williams and Zerull now face Democrats Rep. Nancy Young Wright and Don Jorgensen in the Nov. 4 general election.
Humphries — who’d received a Clean Elections check in the mail as one of the two nominees to the general election — said Sunday there might be provisional ballots still uncounted in Pinal County. He won’t contest this result.
“I’m not making up 50 ballots in Pinal County,” Humphries said.
Humphries said Zerull’s personal loss keeps politics in perspective. The loss is “just politics. There’s bigger things than that.”
Williams said his feelings about winning the GOP primary are “tempered.
“It’s hard to feel excited at this moment,” Williams said. “What’s happened to her is tragic and horrible, and it puts quite a damper on my feelings toward my victory.”
Humphries said the vote counting, with discrepancies, has been “a mess.” The successful candidate has “lost almost a week now” because of the delay in final vote tallying.
“There are discrepancies all over the place,” Humphries said. “It’s been a disaster.
“The worst possible scenario would have been if we were within a certain amount, they would have had to do a manual hand count,” Humphries said. “That’s another week or two weeks. Early balloting” for the Nov. 4 general election “begins in about three weeks.
“I’d rather have it over with, and be supporting Marilyn and hope she gets the seat. We’re going to do anything we can to help her through this time.”
Humphries does not want an investigation into the primary vote counting, but is urging inquiry of the process ahead of Nov. 4.
“I want that to not happen again, especially in a general election,” with much heavier turnout. Pima County had a turnout of about 20 percent.
The Clean Elections check for a sum near $19,000 remained unopened on the counter in Humphries’ home.
“I didn’t even open it,” Humphries said Sunday. “The last thing I want is to have that thing cashed. So we kept it on hold.”
Humphries thought name recognition and age might have been factors in his defeat.
“I tried to run on issues I thought I could affect,” he said. “I didn’t run on securing the border. I tried to run on issues, rather than rhetoric.
“I’m pretty conservative,” Humphries continued. “A lot of people don’t know that, so shame on me.
“Overall, I thought we ran a great campaign on solid issues,” he said. “If that’s not enough to win, there’s not a lot I can do about it. I got almost 10,000 votes, though. It wasn’t a waste of time.”
Williams plans to “move forward and carry on with the very same message of our campaign. This is about Southern Arizona, having their politicians be accountable and accessible to them, acting with fiscal constraint, ensuring our state budget gets balanced by reducing spending, addressing our educational needs, and the question of illegal immigration.”
2008 primary election
STATE REPRESENTATIVE - DISTRICT NO. 26 - DEMOCRAT
COUNTY JORGENSEN YOUNG WRIGHT
PIMA 8.435 9,954
PINAL 546 667
TOTALS 8,981 10,621
STATE SENATOR - DISTRICT NO. 26 - DEMOCRAT
STATE REPRESENTATIVE - DISTRICT NO. 26 - REPUBLICAN
COUNTY HUMPHRIES WILLIAMS ZERULL
PIMA 8,517 9,670 8,475
PINAL 838 1,067 930
TOTALS 9,355 10,737 9,405
STATE SENATOR - DISTRICT NO. 26 - REPUBLICAN
COUNTY HERSHBERGER MELVIN
PIMA 8,341 8,724
PINAL 516 1,407
TOTALS 8,857 10,131
*From the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office