Amid a myriad of challenges school districts face from declining enrollment to the negative impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, Santa Clarita Valley residents have shown up at the polls in support of leaders they believe will pave the way for quality education.
In the latest returns of voting results Wednesday, William S. Hart Union High School District incumbents led their respective races, with an unknown number of ballots yet to be counted. The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk announced it would update voting results Friday.
William S. Hart Union High School District
In the Hart district, SCV residents voted for candidates to fill three open seats — including Trustee Area No. 2, No. 3 and No. 5.
According to the Registrar-Recorder’s Office, Bob Jensen led the polls Wednesday with 69.72% (7,075) of the votes to represent Trustee Area No. 2. Cherise Moore led the race for Trustee Area No. 3 with 58.98% (3,951) of the votes and Joe Messina led his race to represent Trustee Area No. 5 with 62.24% (7,558) of the votes. All three of the leaders are incumbents.
Following Jensen in the race, Andrew Taban received 30.28% (3,073) of the early returns. Following Moore, Teresa Todd received 41.02% (2,748) of the votes and, following Messina, Rebecca Hindman received 37.76% (4,585) of early returns Wednesday.
“Well, the first drop is what I expected, and though I’m in the lead, she’s not far behind be,” Messina said, in regards to the initial reports of voting results at approximately 8:35 p.m. Tuesday.
According to Messina, in his race, he feels he’ll receive a “solid win” as he believed the votes of constituents of Trustee Area No. 5 would show up later.
“I want people who did vote for me — I want to thank them for believing that I can do the job,” Messina said.
Jensen was unreachable for comment Tuesday night regarding the initial voting results. Moore said the voting results were still early, and she was looking forward to seeing the final results in the coming days.
Saugus Union School District
In the Saugus district, there were three open seats representing Trustee Area No. 1, No. 2 and No. 5.
According to the Registrar-Recorder’s Office, Wednesday’s voting updates indicated Jesus Henao led the race for Trustee Area No. 1 with 50.64% (1,581) of the votes against Cassandra Love, who received 49.36% (1,541) of the votes.
Tuesday’s early voting results showed Love led the race. However, with just 40 votes between current leader Henao and Love, the race to represent Trustee Area No. 1 will be a close one.
Anna Griese led the race for Trustee Area No. 2 with 58.68% (2,788) of the votes against Laura Arrowsmith, who received 41.32% (1,963) of the votes.
Though Arrowsmith’s name was on the ballot, she dropped out of the race in September after moving away from the district.
Incumbent Christopher Trunkey led the race for Trustee Area No. 5 with 50.79% (1,737) of the votes against Sharlene Duzick, who received 49.21% (1,683) of the votes. The race for Trustee Area No. 5 is also a tight one, which may yet be swayed one way or another depending on the final tallies.
Newhall School District
In the Newhall district, there were two seats up for grabs, which would represent Trustee Areas No. 1 and No. 2.
In Wednesday’s returns, incumbent Brian Walters led the race for Trustee Area No. 1 with 51.76% (1,204) of the votes against Donna Robert, who received 48.24% (1,122) of the votes.
Rachelle Haddoak led the race for Trustee Area No. 2 with 52.46% (1,634) of the votes against Suverna Mistry, who received 47.54% (1,481) of the votes.
Castaic Union School District
In the Castaic district race to represent Trustee Area E, Mayreen Burk led the race with 61.59% (396) of the votes against Tracy Ford, who received 38.41% (247) of the votes.
Sulphur Springs and Santa Clarita Community College districts
In the Sulphur Springs Union School District and the Santa Clarita Community College District, candidates in these races ran unopposed.