Council: Smyth secures reelection, second open seat close contest

Cameron Smyth

Unofficial votes in Los Angeles County showed Santa Clarita is keeping its longtime city councilman and current Mayor Cameron Smyth on the dais and the second open seat is expected to be taken by one of two contenders with less than a 2-point gap. 

As of Wednesday evening, Smyth eased through the polls with 31.17% of the vote, or 47,163 votes, ahead of eight other candidates looking to fill two seats up for election: Smyth’s own seat and that of fourth-term Councilman Bob Kellar, who has announced he will resign once his term concludes in December. 

Smyth spent Tuesday evening at an outdoor Republican watch party in Santa Clarita alongside other candidates such as Jason Gibbs, who holds second place in the City Council race, and Suzette Martinez Valladares, who has maintained a significant lead in her race for the 38th Assembly District. 

“I came out to the Republican headquarters to say thank you to the hundreds of volunteers who walked the precincts, stuffed the envelopes and helped make this happen,” said Smyth. “I’m certainly appreciative of the people of Santa Clarita basically rehiring me for another four years.”

Gibbs, deputy director of West Coast Operations for GP Strategies Corp., had earned 16.26% (24,605) of the vote as of Wednesday and just behind was Kelvin Driscoll, a program director for the L.A. County Department of Public Social Services, with 14.50% (21,939). 

After polls closed at 8 p.m. Tuesday and the first set of vote tallies began to settle, Driscoll held a short lead over Gibbs, but Gibbs overtook him as additional tallies came in. Despite the flip, Driscoll remained hopeful. 

“We are excited and honored to see so much support for our campaign. It’s confirmation that the vision we’ve put forth is resonating with our neighbors,” he said. “There are many votes to be counted and we look forward to seeing the final results.”

Gibbs also remained hopeful, adding that regardless of the results the overall experience is what was most memorable for him. 

“My first time running was an unknown commodity; not a lot of people gave me too much attention because I was so new, but we never stopped campaigning and I’ve got to meet a lot of great people along the way,” he said. 

The Wednesday update includes 195,971 vote-by-mail ballots processed since election night and those received on Sunday, Nov. 1. The total L.A. County election results count is now 3.38 million, which is 59.24% of eligible county voters, according to county officials. An estimated 618,200 ballots, including 520,000 vote-by-mail ballots, have yet to be counted, according to county officials. 

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