Christine Marsh: Waiting on Ballots Is Like the Last Mile of a Marathon

Photo courtesy of Christine Marsh Facebook campaign page

By Alicia Barrón

November 9, 2020

Marsh lost to Sen. Brophy McGee in 2018 by less than 300 votes.

In 2018, Christine Marsh lost her legislative race against Sen. Kate Brophy McGee by only 267 votes. This year, as Marsh seeks to unseat Brophy McGee for a second time, the gap between the two is more than double what it was two years ago.

But this time, in Marsh’s favor.

As of Monday morning, Marsh is on track to win her race to represent Arizona Legislative District 28. She tells The Copper Courier she feels cautiously optimistic and proud of the campaign she and her team ran.

Photo courtesy of Maricopa County Recorder’s Office

“Early on, we focused on the word ‘senatorial’ and tried to make sure that everything that came out of the campaign reflected the earnestness and gravity that comes with that word,” Marsh explained.

The Arizona Teacher of the Year said they focused on positive, hopeful messaging and didn’t get caught up in the negativity and lies that characterize so many campaigns. 

Photo courtesy of Christine Marsh campaign Facebook page

So, what is it like waiting for ballots to be counted from a candidate’s perspective?

Marsh admits waiting on ballots to be counted is like “the last mile of a marathon, when you’re already exhausted and raw.” 

In 2018, it took about two weeks for her to learn that she had lost that race by 267 votes. But instead of wallowing in the loss, Marsh focused on the future. She planned a trip to New York with her two sons and bought Broadway tickets for them all to see “To Kill a Mockingbird.” She also adopted a dog from a shelter that no one else wanted due to a heart condition. “It was a win/win.”

A few years ago, one of Christine Marsh’s students asked whether kids were worth less than kids in other states. You see, the student thought that because Arizona kids’ education was funded at the lowest level in the nation, that Arizona kids must be less important than students in other states.  

Marsh tells The Copper Courier that his question was like a sucker punch, and it still upsets her that Arizona children believe they are worth less than other kids in the country. That’s one of the reasons why she decided to run. 

“I am so grateful for the dedicated team of volunteers who carried me through the first month or so after my son died in May,” Marsh said. “The machine kept rolling even as I grieved. I could not have finished this race without their strength, inspiration, and hard work. Despite a pandemic and the death of my son, we talked to tens of thousands of voters this cycle, and those individual conversations are why we feel so confident.”

When asked about the state of Arizona politics today now that it looks like the state has gone blue, she said: “I honestly haven’t absorbed this idea yet, but it definitely makes me hopeful for the future.” 


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