After months of campaigning, the race for three Santa Clarita City Council seats came to an end Tuesday.
However, the narrow margins reported, combined with untallied ballots, mean the results are yet to be officially determined.
Based on the early results, it looks as though Santa Clarita City Council members Laurene Weste and Marsha McLean are retaining their seats, holding off stiff competition in a closely contested race.
While the results are still unofficial, the preliminary tally shows that Weste garnered a quick and early lead that she held on to throughout the night.
The remaining 950 ballots won’t be counted until next week, said city spokeswoman Gail Morgan, noting there are “lots of verifications” to be done in the next few days.
The uncounted votes are vote-by-mail ballots dropped off on election day.
Here are the unofficial, preliminary results for the order of finish: Weste, 5,822 votes (15 percent); McLean, 5,363 (13.8); Dante Acosta, 4,562 (11.7); Alan Ferdman, 4,516 (11.6); Gloria Mercado-Fortine, 4,355 (11.2); Duane Harte, 4,198 (10.8); Maria Gutzeit, 4,156(10.7); Sandra Bull, 1,252 (3.2); Moazzem H. Chowdhury, 1,177 (3); Stephen Daniels, 1,080 (2.8); Paul J. Wieczorek, 1,046 (2.7); Berta Gonzalez-Harper, 878 (2.3); and Dennis Conn, 432 (1.1).
The results are unofficial, and awaiting a count of several hundred provisional ballots that could easily change the finish.
Tuesday marks the end of a monthslong race, as candidates vie for three seats in an election that was expected to be extremely close.
Awaiting Election Day results
The moods varied at the candidates’ various post-campaign parties Tuesday.
Harte wasn’t nervous when he woke up Tuesday, but he joked that by 8 p.m., he was starting to get anxious.
He awaited the results at his Santa Clarita home, surrounded by friends and family.
Acosta was confident the campaign was going to be a success, and he said he was thankful for those who supported him and put their faith in him, during a party for supporters at the Backwoods Inn.
Mercado-Fortine planned to continue her service to the Santa Clarita Valley community as a school board member if she doesn’t garner enough votes to finish in the top three. The past board president and current board member for the William S. Hart Union High School District was an early leader based on the results of mail-in ballots; however, she was later overtaken by Acosta and Ferdman.
Ferdman was optimistic early Tuesday night, he said, and by the end of the night, he had even more reason to be.
He might have the third spot, depending on how many provisional ballots remain to be counted. He awaited the results at Route 66 in Canyon Country, where the Canyon Country Advisory Committee member carried much of his support.
Wiezcorek and Daniels awaited the returns with Ferdman at the Santa Clarita restaurant. Both said they supported Ferdman’s efforts.
Chowdhury hosted a gathering about a block away at Denny’s, also in Canyon Country, which was filled with his supporters.
Gonzalez-Harper and Conn were both seen at City Hall, which hosted a live show by SCV Today anchors Tami Edwards and Dave Caldwell.
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Source: Santa Clarita News