Republican Vic Williams and Democrat Rep. Nancy Young Wright have emerged as apparent winners for two seats in the Arizona House from District 26, encompassing much of the Northwest.

Unofficial results from the Nov. 4 election show Williams the front-runner, with 41,626 votes, 26 percent of those cast. Young Wright was second at 41,524 votes, 25.9 percent. Republican Marilyn Zerull stood third at 40,461 votes (25.2 percent), and Democrat Don Jorgensen was fourth at 36,792 votes (22.9 percent).

On Monday, Williams allowed he’d “come apart at the seams” physically, taking ill after the Tuesday climax.

“Emotionally and psychologically and physically, what a roller coaster,” Williams said. Otherwise, he is “truly humbled and honored to have this opportunity, and I hope I can make the most of it for everyone, and for the people of Southern Arizona.”

“I wish we had the final result, but it appears I’m secure,” Young Wright said Monday. “I’m excited. It sounds cliché, but I am very humbled by winning in this district. It is a tough district to win in, obviously. It’s an enormous honor, it’s an enormous responsibility.”

Williams had been “cautiously optimistic that we would win this election,” he said. “Having the vote we got is reflective of the grass roots effort that my entire staff and I put into this campaign,” Williams said.

Young Wright, the Oro Valley resident, who was appointed to Rep. Lena Saradnik’s remaining term last winter, said “a lot of folks know me for having been on the ballot a number of times before,” chiefly in candidacies for the Amphitheater School District Governing Board.

She tried to run “a good, positive campaign with a good message. Our group worked really, really hard, and I’m glad to say I never went negative, and I am proud of that fact,” Young Wright said.

Republicans gained seats in both chambers of the Arizona Legislature.

“Considering the entire blue tsunami of ’08 that swept across the U.S.” Tuesday, Williams said Arizonans went for Republicans because of “the failing of both the governor and the Democratic Caucus to address our financial issues in the state of Arizona.”

The “most pressing issue” is “resolving our budget crisis by using fiscal restraint and by reducing spending in the state of Arizona,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any other choice. I don’t know any other alternative we have at this time but to reduce spending. Increase revenues? In this economic climate, I don’t see that happening,” Young Wright said.

She wants to “try to protect education” from cuts in a forthcoming special session. “Unfortunately, there’s a lot more concern … that the universities may be targeted for more cuts. I’m not sure why. Because it’s easiest? I’m concerned.”

Young Wright is pursuing appointment to the K-12 education committee, and listed water and agriculture, judiciary, higher education and environment as other preferences for committee assignments with the Democratic leadership. She now sits on the health, and public institutions and retirement committees.

“I told the incoming leadership I’d be happy to serve wherever I’m needed,” Young Wright said.

“This has been a life-changing experience,” Williams concluded. “I plan to work hard.”

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