Brown celebrates campaign victory

Brown celebrates campaign victory

Tony Brown’s jaw dropped. He placed his hand on his chest and stared at an unfavorable number.

It was 9:12 p.m. Tuesday, the voting booths had been closed for two hours, and he was trailing his opponent by 300 votes.

Brown and the rest of his campaign comrades stared at a television screen and wondered if John Coen, R-Baldwin City, would claim the 10th District House of Representatives race.

“I tried not to put too much weight on it,” Brown, adjunct professor of psychology, said of the numbers. “It was closer than I thought it was going to be.”

The group hovered around a television inside The Lodge while they awaited election results. Senior Jason Mock quickly clicked between Internet sites, searching for new numbers.

“I felt very unpopular when I put those numbers up,” he said.

The agony of uncertainty ended soon, though. Just after 10 p.m., Brown received a phone call from a friend in Ottawa.

Good news.

Brown, D-Baldwin City, pulled out the victory.

“It was sort of indescribable,” Brown said. “I underestimated the power of that moment.”

Brown received 5,414 votes to Coen’s 5,022.

The margin of victory was slim. Brown received 49 percent of the votes, while Coen received a close 46 percent. The remaining 5 percent went to Libertarian candidate William Stewart Starks.

“Had all those votes gone to John (Coen), he would have won,” Brown said. “The battle came down to Baldwin City.”

Throughout the night, Brown “pingponged” between The Lodge and Harter Union, where he spoke to students – something not foreign to him.

“I was able to talk to him with a group of people, and he was pretty excited about it,” said junior Adam Tebben, who showed his support for Brown at the election watch, where he wore an orange Tony Brown shirt.

Despite Brown’s newfound popularity, he said he doesn’t feel much different.

“I’m still the same person today that I was yesterday,” he said. “I still feel like Tony Brown.”

Brown replaced Tom Holland, who unseated incumbent Republican Roger Pine in the state Senate’s 3rd District.

The two political pals have been friends for years.

“We’re very excited about it,” Brown said. “It was a good moment. It was more important that he won Senate than me win the House.”

Holland captured 18,398 votes to Pine’s 17,523.

“It was just a great night – great for me and great for our country,” Brown said.