Assembly candidate declares victory, ballot counts continue

Student clerks Ariana Nunez, 17, from West Ranch High School, left, and Kayden Kim, 16, from Academy of the Canyons prepare for voters at Castaic Middle School in Castaic on Tuesday, 060722. Dan Watson/The Signal

Although ballots continue to be counted, a candidate in the Assembly District 40 election seeking to represent the Santa Clarita Valley has declared victory given the leads the top two candidates currently have in their 2022 primary race.  

In a statement distributed by her campaign on Friday, Democratic challenger Pilar Schiavo released a statement “after solidifying her spot” in the November general election.   

“Now, as we look forward to November, we have a lot of work ahead,” said Schiavo in her statement. “We are up against an anti-choice, NRA-endorsed, Trump Republican who is funded by all of the special interests in the state because they know she will vote with them, rather than for us.” 

Incumbent Republican Suzette Martinez Valladares holds the most votes counted so far in the 40th District race, amassing 32,497 (49.3%) of the total ballots already counted to Schiavo’s 20,529 (31.1%). However, California operates under a top-two primary format, meaning that the top two candidates, regardless of party preference, advance to the general election.  

Both Valladares and Schiavo have thus far outpaced the only other candidate in the race, Democrat Annie Cho, who has 12,898 (19.6%) of the total votes counted as of 5 p.m. Monday. 

The sitting assemblywoman’s campaign released a statement last Wednesday saying that her sustained lead over her two challengers was a “giant step” toward her possible re-election, but her campaign officials declined to comment further when contacted by The Signal on Monday.   

The L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, in an update released on Friday, said the office had 506,050 ballots still needing processing in all of L.A. County. The next update on the number of ballots left to be counted is due to be released on Tuesday, according to the county’s canvas update schedule.  

In the race for the 27th Congressional District, Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, and Democratic challenger Christy Smith maintained their substantial lead over the pool of six total candidates vying to represent the Santa Clarita Valley in Washington, D.C.  

As of the latest update from the California Secretary of State’s website, Garcia held 38,987 (48.3%) votes to Smith’s 29,622 (36.7%), with their next closest challenger, Democrat Quaye Quartey, holding 5,033 (6.2%). Democrat Ruth Luevanos and Republicans Mark Pierce and David Rudnick each held less than 5,000 votes.  

In Assembly District 34, Republican incumbent Thurston “Smitty” Smith leads fellow Republican incumbent Tom Lackey 18,770 (32.8%) votes to 16,165 (28.2%). Smith currently represents the 33rd Assembly District and Lackey holds the 36th District seat, but due to redistricting following the 2020 U.S. Census, both legislators are now running to defend their seat in the newly designated 34th Assembly District.  

Democrat Rita Ramirez leads the remaining four candidates in the race with 15,401 (26.9%) and next closest challenger Democrat Raj Kahlon holds just shy of 3,000 total votes.  

The race for L.A. County sheriff had not been updated on the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County’s website as of this publication.  

However, in their most recent update posted on Friday, Sheriff Alex Villanueva leads a pack of nine candidates jockeying to be L.A. County’s top cop, with the incumbent holding 300,508 (33.06%) of the total votes. Challengers Robert Luna and Eric Strong have 232,948 (25.63%) and 118,759 (13.07%) of the total votes already counted, respectively.   

The California Secretary of State has until July 15 to certify the election results.  

Related To This Story

Latest NEWS