Brown reelected, 4 council candidates advance to general election

Candidates thank supporters for their votes


Incumbent Jeff Brown has been reelected to the Queen Creek Town Council during the Aug. 30 primary election, leaving two additional seats up for grabs during the Nov. 8 general election.

“Thank you to everyone who voted, posted online, talked to a neighbor, hosted a yard sign and who just plain did the heavy lifting,” Mr. Brown said in an e-mailed response to questions. “I cannot overstate how humbling and what an honor it is to have had the support and votes of so many wonderful Queen Creek neighbors.”

The primary election was held Aug. 30. Queen Creek voters cast their ballots to fill three open seats on the town council from among eight candidates.

In addition to Mr. Brown, the candidates were incumbent Craig Barnes, incumbent Robin Benning, Todd Broadhead, Jake Hoffman, Matt McWilliams, Stacy Portonova and Natasha Schaeler.

Final unofficial election results show that Mr. Brown was re-elected; Mr. Barnes, Mr. Benning, Mr. McWilliams and Mr. Hoffman will move on to a runoff for the two remaining town council seats during the November general election, according to a press release from the town.

The new town council will be seated during the first meeting in January.

In order to secure a seat on the town council during a primary election, a candidate was required to receive at least 2,380 votes, based on the total number of votes cast, according to the release.

Two candidates per open seat move on; the individuals who move on are determined by the highest votes received in the primary, Constance Halonen-Wilson, the town’s public information officer, said in an e-mailed response to questions.

Final unofficial election results include town of Queen Creek resident votes from both Maricopa County and Pinal County. Maricopa County had not released its final election reports to cities and towns as of noon, Thursday, Sept. 8, Queen Creek Town Clerk Jennifer Robinson said in an e-mailed response to questions. The detailed reports break out the total ballots cast, election day voting and voter registration, she said.

The totals include results posted on the Maricopa County Elections website as of 3:32 p.m. Sept. 9 and on the Pinal County Elections website as of 6:20 p.m. Sept. 2.

In alphabetical order, the results are:

•Craig Barnes: 1,995 from Maricopa County and 24 from Pinal County
•Robin Benning: 2,327 from Maricopa County and 24 from Pinal County
•Todd Broadhead: 471 from Maricopa County and 2 from Pinal County
•Jeff Brown: 3,257 from Maricopa County and 21 from Pinal County
•Jake Hoffman: 1,786 from Maricopa County and 18 from Pinal County
•Matt McWilliams: 1,928 from Maricopa County and 7 from Pinal County
•Stacy Portonova: 776 from Maricopa County and 18 from Pinal County
•Natasha Schaeler: 1,602 from Maricopa County and 20 from Pinal County

To view the unofficial results, visit for Maricopa County results and for Pinal County results.

In an e-mailed statement to the Queen Creek Independent, Mr. Benning said he was excited to have come so close to winning reelection outright in Tuesday’s primary.

In an e-mail, the Independent offered each candidate the opportunity to submit a statement regarding the election. In addition to Mr. Brown, four candidates responded.

“The voters of Queen Creek have spoken and I am honored to have received the second highest number of votes. I am pleased that the voters have re-elected Jeff Brown. He is a strong conservative voice for our community and we will continue to work well together on your Queen Creek Town Council,” Mr. Benning said.

“I will be moving on to a run-off in the general election on Nov. 8 to fill one of the two remaining positions. You have my commitment that I will continue to serve our community, to help new businesses get established, to aid existing businesses grow and expand, to support economic drivers such Queen Creek Performing Arts Center and Horseshoe Park and Equestrian Centre, and to promote our agritainment venues such as Schnepf’s Farm, Olive Mill and Sossaman Farms,” Mr. Benning said. “If elected, I will continue to work to provide top-notch services such as police, fire, roads, utilities, planning and parks for our residents. And I will continue to work to be frugal with your taxpayer dollars and to limit the size of our local government. If you have comments, concerns or would like to meet in person, please message me at”

Mr. McWilliams also said he is pleased with the primary election results.

“I want to express my gratitude and thanks to the 1,900-plus Queen Creek citizens who voted for me. Your support is deeply appreciated,” Mr. Williams said in his e-mail. “I exceeded my expectations in the primary election because as one of the last candidates to enter the race, I knew I had a tough road ahead of me. I knew if voters got to know me, they would vote for me.  To that end, I went door-to-door to 2,000 homes to introduce myself. Going door-to-door in Arizona summertime heat is hard work, but I did it because it is so important for people to have an opportunity to know the person they are voting for.

“As I went door-to-door, more and more people were saying they were voting for me,” Mr. Williams continued. “Their reach extended beyond to where I had gone door-to-door because they told their friends and family they were voting for Matt McWilliams. It was exciting when someone would answer the door and say, ‘Matt, we have heard about you from our friend and are voting for you.’

“I encourage those who voted for me to continue to spread the word. We live in a great town and I entered the race to protect Queen Creek and its signature heritage,” Mr. McWilliams continued. “I will continue to work hard to earn your vote. I believe that my background in real estate law, title law, construction and finance are critical for Queen Creek at this time. As I said in the candidate forum, growth and development are coming to Queen Creek. We need a councilmember who is committed to managing that growth and that has the experience, temperament and skills to do so. I am that person and when elected will protect the quality of life we enjoy in Queen Creek. When you vote for Matt McWilliams you are making a safe choice for a highly qualified candidate who wants the absolute best for you and our town.”

Mr. Barnes also said he is grateful for the many people who have supported him.

“I have loved living in Queen Creek for the past 16 years and being involved with the community through various committees and organizations. It has not only been an honor but a privilege to have served the residents of Queen Creek for the past eight years on the town council,” Mr. Barnes said. “I am very grateful that so many people have shown their support for me and I look forward to earning even greater support in the general election on Nov. 8. As a candidate for re-election I can offer you the experience and training only an incumbent has to offer. I bring you current knowledge of the state of affairs in the town government and institutional knowledge of how and why our community got here. These attributes were earned by contributing for more than the last decade.

“When re-elected I will continue to work hard for the great people of Queen Creek,” Mr. Barnes said. “I look forward to hearing more of your suggestions, comments and questions. The current town council has been working hard to improve roads, enhance public safety and meet the high standards that the residents of Queen Creek have demanded. I  will use the advanced  training and educational opportunities previously provided to me as a town council member to continue to better serve the community. I  have always known that being on council is not about what I want; it’s about what is better for the community as a whole. With the advantages of experience and training, Please visit me at”

Ms. Schaeler called her campaign a great experience. “I learned a lot and met many wonderful people,” she said in her e-mail.

Candidates who win the primary will have until 10 days after the primary election to remove their signs, according to the Section 7, Sign Regulations, of the Queen Creek Town Code. Candidates who advance to the general elections may leave their signs up until after the general election.

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