Former Payson Mayor Barbara Brewer is pinning her long shot hopes for a turnabout victory in the District Five State House race on 5,700 uncounted ballots.
The longtime Payson councilwoman came in third in the two-seat race, apparently losing to St. Johns Democratic incumbent Jack Brown by about 1,700 votes on Election Day.
Brewer got 30 percent of the 94,000 votes cast in the five-county district, which compares to Brown’s 32 percent. Front-runner incumbent Republican Bill Konopnicki drew 38 percent of the vote.
The provisional ballots include 3,500 from Navajo County, 1,400 from Gila County, 400 from Apache County, 407 from Graham County and 22 from Greenlee County.
As it happens, Navajo County is the one area Brewer ran ahead of Brown. She got 11,065 votes there compared to Brown’s 10,561.
On the other hand, she lost Gila County to Brown — 8,335 to 9,613.
“I’m still close enough to Jack Brown that these provisional ballots could turn it around,” she said. “But I’m OK either way. I know that everything happens for a reason and it is a very humbling experience to run — and to think that so many people want to get behind you and help you win an election. I made so many new friends and I’m forever grateful for that, too.”
Brewer hoped to become the second Republican representing the huge state legislative district, ousting the incumbent Democrat. Brewer ran a low-key campaign with few events or public forums.
She served as Payson’s mayor from 2004 to 2006, losing to Bob Edwards on an election that turned on growth controls and water. She served eight years on the Payson council prior to her stint as mayor.