Voters keep incumbents on City Council seats

Santa Clarita City Councilmember Bill Miranda chats with supporters at the GOP election night party held at Kelly's Wedding Garden in Santa Clarita on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. Dan Watson/The Signal

Despite a large pool of 15 candidates in the race for Santa Clarita City Council, voters stayed loyal to three incumbents for at least another term, as the tallying of election results rolled into early Wednesday morning.

Some mail-in ballots and additional provisional ballots await to be added to the final count, but the current council members contending for three seats led the polls throughout the vote count Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

Just before 5 a.m. Wednesday, with 105 of 105 precincts reported, Mayor Laurene Weste led with 14.67 percent of the vote, or 18,350 tallies. She was followed by Mayor Pro Tem Marsha McLean, with 14.48 percent (18,112 votes) and in third was Councilman Bill Miranda, with 10.88 percent of the vote (13,605 votes).

“I’m really honored to represent this community,” Weste, who has served on the council since 1998, said Wednesday. “I heard a lot of interesting things throughout this time that triggered this thought process. We will be doing a lot of work, and it will be lots of work, but we can do it together, and we have because other cities have come here to see how we are doing it.”

A close watch throughout the night was for the third seat, as challenger Diane Trautman, a former Santa Clarita planning commissioner, stayed close behind Miranda with only a 1.72-percent differential.

The hopeful, which aimed to “bring your voice back to City Hall,” remained positive throughout the night but fell short by 2,341 votes. By Wednesday morning, she had garnered 9.01 percent of the vote, or 11,264 votes.

The candidates who followed behind her were Ken Dean with 9,749 votes, TimBen Boydston with 9,498, Logan Smith with 8,626 votes, Brett Haddock with 7,542 votes and Jason Gibbs with 6,976 votes.

The three incumbents have expressed similar priorities including tackling the issue of homelessness head-on by building a year-round homeless shelter and improving the road network.

Weste said she was grateful for the $47 million federal grant secured by Rep. Steve Knight in June to help relieve the traffic congestion on Interstate 5. Still, she said, “We need to double down, look at traffic and think of all the factors, including concerns I’ve heard about big buses.”

Improving public safety, building more homes and take a closer look at the need for mental health centers were also pressing topics mentioned by the council members.

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