Saugus candidates look to secure win

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The Saugus Union School District may soon welcome two new school board members with Laura Arrowsmith, David Barlavi and Chris Trunkey each holding a lead in the district’s three school board races, according to Tuesday night’s early election returns.

Area No. 1
Evan Patlian, Jesus Henao and Barlavi each went into election night confident that they’d complete their bid to represent Area No. 1 of the Saugus Union School District.

Early on in the evening, Barlavi jumped out to a small lead over Patlian as less than 70 votes separated the two, according to Los Angeles County tallies. Henao and Patlian would remain competitive in the race throughout the night, and it was unclear who would emerge the winner on Wednesday morning.

“I ran against two amazing guys and I love them both,” Barlavi said. “No matter who wins, it’s clear the children are in good hands.”

Area No. 2
In Area No. 2, longtime incumbent Judy Umeck was challenged by Laura Arrowsmith.

During the campaign, Arrowsmith promised to fight for improved classroom environments, assessments and equity if she was elected, while Umeck vowed to use her institutional memory for the betterment of all school sites, not just those she represents.

As of 11 p.m. Tuesday, Arrowsmith held a slight lead over the longtime incumbent, who Arrowsmith has grown to admire.

“I want to thank Judy Umeck for being so kind and gracious during the campaign,” Arrowsmith said. “We came to realize how much we both care for the children and I have nothing but respect and admiration for what she’s done.”

Area No. 5
Chris Trunkey, the district’s current board president, was challenged by Sharlene Duzick in the race to represent Area No. 5.

Duzick had previously said she hoped to use her fundraising and professional experience to sway the voters of her and Trunkey’s district, but the SUSD voters appeared to support Trunkey, as he led by 200 votes at 11 p.m.

“I hope the voters elect to give me another term,” Trunkey said. “There’s a lot I look forward to working on in the coming future.”

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