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Home » Santa Clarita News » UPDATE: School Elections Net Mixed Results For Incumbents, Challengers
UPDATE: School Elections Net Mixed Results For Incumbents, Challengers

UPDATE: School Elections Net Mixed Results For Incumbents, Challengers

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A challenger managed to unseat an incumbent in one of three local school board elections held Tuesday, according to results on Los Angeles County Registrar Recorder website.

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The Newhall, Saugus Union and Sulphur Springs school districts all held elections Tuesday.


KHTS AM-1220 followed the results live on our Santa Clarita elections page, which also contained links to the candidate forums.


Suphur Springs School District

Ken Chase, a certified management accountant who said his skills in finance would be an asset to the board in a Sulphur Springs candidate forum last month, also managed to convince enough voters that was the case.


In fact, Chase was the leading vote-getter for the Sulphur Springs School District, garnering 1,263 votes, compared to Lori MacDonald and Kerry Clegg.


“I would have been happy at No. 3, but I’m thrilled to be No.1,” Chase said, adding that he was very fortunate to have friends and family who helped him get the word out.


Chase said he’s been involved with the district since 2004 attending meetings and also participating in a site council, and had a great respect for fellow board members and Sulphur Springs Superintendent Robert Nolet.


He looked forward to working collaboratively with the board, and hoped to creat a “more well-rounded perspective” to the Canyon Country school board.


MacDonald, an LAUSD teacher, was an incumbent appointee who filled the seat vacated by Sheldon Wigdor, who moved to Cleveland last year.


She earned 1,140 votes, good for 25.7 percent of votes cast.


Clegg, a four-time board president who’s served continuously since he was first elected in 1989, came in third with 1,139.


The top-three votegetters earned spots on the board.


Chase and the two incumbents left incumbent Michael Hogan, CEO of Hogan Communications, an entertainment-based advertising company, as the odd man out.


Hogan earned 995 votes, good for 22.43 percent of the vote.


There are 31,711 registered voters for the Sulphur Springs School District, according to Los Angeles County figures.


Saugus Union School District

Challenger Chris Trunkey came within 49 votes of unseating an incumbent in the Saugus Union School District.


At a Saugus Union candidate forum hosted by the local media outlets, Trunkey used his question to put incumbent Doug Bryce on the spot about a controversial PTA mailer that was used by all three incumbents.


The strategy nearly worked, except voters decide to keep the three incumbents in office after all.


Board President Judy Umeck, who earned her fourth term, led with 2,328 votes, or 26.96 percent of the turnout.


Moreso than ever before, social media played a big role in this year’s election, which Umeck expects to grow in importance.


“I was living the life of the student and trying to navigate social media and the networking,” Umeck said. “I truly became a student in that process.”

Umeck received the most amount of votes of anyone running for office in the Santa Clarita Valley this time around, as the leading vote-getter in the largest district on the ballot.

“I would say social media is a huge part of it, but I wouldn’t discount face-to-face contact with voters,” she added. “I still think that’s very important.”

For Umeck, the reason she continues to run is the site visit, and the “a-ha moment” that she gets to observe in students on her trips to campuses.

Paul De La Cerda, who earned his third win on the Saugus Union board, came in second with 2,078 votes, or 24 percent of the votes cast.

Bryce garnered 1,678 votes, 19.4 percent of the vote, which was good enough for a fourth term on the Saugus Union School District governing board.


The Saugus Union School District currently is a four-person board while it awaits word from the attorney general on whether they may formally proceed with their intention to remove Stephen Winkler from office.


The board voted 4-1 to vacate Winkler’s seat in June regarding an allegation that Winkler maintained a residence outside of the district.


There are 58,989 registered voters for the Saugus Union School District election.


Newhall School District

Board President Christy Smith was the top vote-getter for the Newhall School District race.


Smith grabbed 1,733 votes, which was good for slightly more than 28 percent of the turnout.


The former Peachland Elementary student who also served as a policy analyst for the U.S. Department of Education, earned her second term on the board with the win.


Attorneys Phil Ellis and Brian Walters also earned re-election, by picking up 1,562 votes and 1,547 votes, respectively.


Ellis was first elected to the board in November 1995, then served a four-year term on the William S. Hart Union High School District, then ran for Newhall again in November 2009.


Walters began his first term as an appointment to replace J. Michael McGrath, who resigned in December 2009.

There are 40,158 registered voters for the Newhall School District race.

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Source: Santa Clarita News

UPDATE: School Elections Net Mixed Results For Incumbents, Challengers

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About Perry Smith

Perry Smith is a print and broadcast journalist who has won several awards for his focused, hyperlocal community coverage in several different regions of the country. In addition to five years of experience covering the Santa Clarita Valley, Smith, a San Fernando Valley native, has worked in newspapers and news websites in Los Angeles, the Northwest, the Central Valley and the South, before coming to KHTS in 2012. To contact Smith, email him at
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