From political campaign ads to forums, Santa Clarita Valley residents have spent the last several months hearing from those running for City Council — and on election day, when residents chose from a field of 15 candidates, early returns indicated the three incumbents were on their way to re-election.
By 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, the race remained too close to call, but the top candidates leading the race to fill three seats on the council were incumbents Mayor Laurene Weste in the lead with nearly 16 percent of the vote, followed by Mayor Pro Tem Marsha McLean with 15 percent and Councilman Bill Miranda with almost 11 percent.
Diane Trautman stayed close behind Miranda at a 1.72-percent differential, with 9.05 percent.
“It’s still too soon to tell how this will go, but I’d rather be in third than in fourth place,” said Miranda.
On following just behind the councilman, Trautman said, “I’m excited about it because this is the closest I’ve been.”
Weste and Miranda spent election night at Kelly’s Wedding Garden and Banquet Facility, alongside other SCV Republicans including Rep. Steve Knight and Assemblyman Dante Acosta.
Weste, who has served on the council for nearly two decades, said she was thrilled to be in the process once again and is hopeful she will “be able to serve this community with the things that we’ve added and are yet to come.”
McLean tuned into poll results at a watch party in Valencia and said, “I’m very happy with what’s showing so far and am relieved at this point.”
Throughout their campaigns, candidates tackled the most pressing issues facing Santa Clarita including traffic, homelessness and economic development. While most candidates shared similar visions for the future of the city, the divide was in whether it was time to see new leadership on the council.
At several forums held in the past months, challengers in the run to unseat the three incumbents up for re-election said residents deserved a new council that would best reflect the needs of a rapidly changing and growing valley.
Still, early vote tallies seemed to indicated that voters trust the current council members seeking re-election.
“Re-election means that you need to work harder,” said Weste Tuesday night. “There’s a lot of things that the city still needs, we’re a young city, but we have come a long way. I think passing what we’ve accomplished onto future generations is the greatest thing we can give them. They will always have definition, nature, beauty and they will be mentally and physically healthy for it.”
Weste was first elected in 1998 and McLean in 2002. Miranda was appointed in 2017 to complete the term of former Councilman Dante Acosta when Acosta was elected to the Assembly.