City Council incumbents pull ahead in Wednesday’s returns

Santa Clarita City Hall, as pictured on February, 26, 2020, is located on the 23900 block of Valencia Blvd. Dan Watson/The Signal

Voting returns continued to trickle in Wednesday morning as the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office finalized its preliminary estimate of outstanding ballots returned on or before Election Day — and in the race for Santa Clarita City Council, early voting results as of Wednesday indicate incumbents pulling away from other candidates.  

Incumbents Bill Miranda, Laurene Weste and Marsha McLean were in the top three spots as of Wednesday. Miranda held the top spot with 20.30% (19,491) of the votes, followed by Weste with 20.20% (19,398) of the votes and McLean with 17.22% (16,537) of the votes. The final results of Tuesday’s election are yet to be determined as an unknown number of ballots remained to be counted.  

“You always like to be in the top three when there are three seats available,” Miranda said in regards to early voting returns. “I’m cautiously optimistic, but I’d rather be in the top three than not, right now.” 

While Miranda and Weste seem to have a “solid” number of votes in their favor over other candidates as indicated by Wednesday’s update, Denise Lite, who is in fourth in the polls and who received 15.63% (15,008) of the votes counted so far, was just behind McLean. 

“I’m obviously sitting on pins and needles at the moment,” McLean said. “I’m very anxious to have the results come through so I can relax.” 

According to McLean, she’s heard from others that it would be difficult for Lite to overtake her. But, McLean said, “You never know until all the votes are in.” 

Lite’s campaign posted on her Facebook page that she was “trailing, but barely.”  

“The top three vote getters win,” Lite’s post reads. “There are plenty of votes to still count. The next update from the county will be Friday according to the Registrar-Recorder’s Office. Visualize a big jump up the list and good juju.” 

McLean said she’s hoping to get re-elected, but its’ been a “difficult” campaign as her husband has been in and out of the hospital.  

“But I have a record to stand on, and I’m hoping that I will prevail,” McLean said. 

Following Lite, fifth in the tally so far is Selina Thomas with 8.21% (7,885) of the votes, then Jeffrey Malick with 7.84% (7,530) of the votes, David Barlavi with 7.03% (6,753) of the votes, Douglas Fraser with 2.43% (2,337) of the votes and Kody Amour, who dropped out of the race in September, with 1.12% (1,071) of the votes.  

Most of the candidates ran on similar platforms including public safety, protecting the city’s open and environmental spaces, growing the city’s economy and looking for solutions for homelessness. However, each candidate prioritized certain issues over other ones.  

The Registrar-Recorder’s Office is slated Friday to announce the preliminary estimate, or first post-Election Night results, of outstanding ballots, which include vote by mail ballots, conditional voter registration ballots and provisional ballots returned on or before Election Day.  

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