The party for Jesse Kelly's election at the Viscount Suite started off as an upbeat gathering, and for the most part remained so as more and more numbers came in showing that Democrat Ron Barber had a healthy lead.
When Mari Herreras spoke to several Kelly supporters waiting for more results, they were hesitant to declare that Barber was indeed the victor.
Joan Gay, a volunteer for Walt Setzer's campaign for Pima County sheriff, said she would wait until all the precincts were accounted for—although she admitted some disappointment.
Does she want Kelly to run again the next round if he doesn't win? Well, maybe, she said. "At that point, it's a new ballgame," Gay said. "I know I'd like that candidate to not be a career politician."
Gay's friend Charles Easter, also a Setzer volunteer, said the city of Tucson's votes are always the last to be counted. He'll wait until those numbers come in before he counts Kelly out. "But, yes, we don't want someone like Barber who has had a career working in government. Kelly hasn't. He's run before, but he's never worked in politics."
Carolyn Setzer, Walt Setzer's wife, admitted concern.
"There were an awful lot of candidates at the beginning of this race, and I don't think that helped," Setzer said. "As far as a final outcome, you never know. But I can't help but think that a lot of those (Republican) votes that went over to Barber were sympathy votes."