Race for 40 Assembly District tightens up

California State Representative Suzette Martinez Valladares at Republican Election Night Watch Party at Valencia Lanes in Newhall. 110822. Dan Watson/The Signal
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Incumbents in Santa Clarita City Council and 27th Congressional District races hold their leads 

The race for the state’s 40th Assembly District tightened further as incumbent Suzette Martinez Valladares held her lead by 1.64 percentage points over Democratic challenger Pilar Schiavo — just 2,109 votes kept Valladares ahead of Schiavo — as of Tuesday’s election results update. 

In addition, a pair of opponents in the local races for the Newhall School District and Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency were neck and neck as of Tuesday’s update.  

In the Newhall district race to represent Division 1, incumbent Brian Walters held his lead over challenger Donna Roberts by just seven votes, and in the water agency race to represent Division 3, candidate Maria Gutzeit led the polls by 522 votes over Lynne Plambeck. 

Incumbents of the Santa Clarita City Council and William S. Hart Union High School District governing board held steady leads over their challengers as of Tuesday’s update. U.S. Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, also held his lead by 8.32 percentage points in the race to represent the 27th Congressional District.  

According to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, Tuesday’s additional voting results added 92,776 ballots to the total returns reported previously, which brings the total up to 1,892,727 ballots counted.  

After Tuesday’s count, an estimated 565,050 ballots remained to be counted countywide. It remained unclear how many of those ballots applied to specific individual local races. 

The Registrar-Recorder’s Office is slated to announce its next update of the preliminary election results on Wednesday between 4 and 5 p.m. 

Santa Clarita City Council 

Incumbents Bill Miranda, Laurene Weste and Marsha Mclean still held the three top spots as of Tuesday’s update.  

Weste held the top spot in the race for City Council with 20% (27,382) of the votes. Miranda remained in second with 19.74% (27,023) of the votes, followed by McLean, in third, with 17.19% (23,535) of the votes. 

Denise Lite is in fourth in the polls and has received 15.33% (20,983) of the votes.  

Jeffrey Malick held fifth place in the polls with 8.64% (11,828) of the votes, followed by Selina Thomas with 8.37% (11,460) of the votes, David Barlavi with 7.33% (10,039) of the votes, Douglas Fraser with 2.38% (3,263) of the votes and Kody Amour, who dropped out of the race in September, with 1.02% (1,398) of the vote. 

27th Congressional District 

In the race to represent the 27th Congressional District between Garcia and Democratic challenger Christy Smith, Tuesday’s update showed Garcia’s lead holding steady, with an unknown number of ballots remaining to be counted. 

Garcia’s initial lead grew from a narrow one — 51.8% to 48.2% on election night — to a larger one as the Registrar-Recorder’s Office counted ballots subsequent to the first numbers released. That gap has since narrowed with updates, but by small increments.  

As of Tuesday afternoon, Garcia had 54.16% (85,435) of the votes and Smith received 45.84% (72,301) of the votes. CNN is estimating 72% of the ballots have been counted in the district. If so, Smith would need to pull just over 60% of the remaining ballots to catch Garcia.  

State Assembly 40th District 

The race to represent the state Assembly’s 40th District continued to tighten as of Tuesday afternoon with incumbent Valladares in the lead with 50.82% (65,250) of the votes over Schiavo, who has received 49.18% (63,141) of the vote. 

William S. Hart Union High School District 

In the race to represent Trustee Areas No. 2, No. 3 and No. 5 on the governing board for the Hart district, Tuesday’s returns continued to favor incumbents Bob Jensen, Cherise Moore and Joe Messina.  

Jensen held the lead with 67.31% (9,725) of the votes over Andrew Taban, who has received 32.69% (4,723) of the vote, in the race for Trustee Area No. 2. Moore was in the same position as Jensen with 61.32% (5,857) of the votes over Teresa Todd, who has received 38.68% (3,695) of the votes, to represent Trustee Area No. 3. 

In the race to represent Trustee Area No. 5, Messina received 60% (10,530) of the votes and challenger Rebecca Hindman received 40% (7,020) of the votes.  

Saugus Union School District 

In the Saugus district, as of Tuesday’s update Cassandra Love held her lead over Jesus Henao, with 52.48% (2,451) and 47.52% (2,219) of the votes, respectively, to see who’ll represent Trustee Area No. 1 on the governing board.  

Anna Griese received 57.34% (3,799) of the votes while incumbent Laura Arrowsmith has received 42.66% (2,826) of the votes in the race to represent Trustee Area No. 2. Arrowsmith’s name appeared on the election ballot, but she dropped out in September because she moved out of the trustee area.  

In the race to represent Trustee Area No. 5, Tuesday’s returns showed incumbent Christopher Trunkey ahead of his opponent with 52.56% (2,616) of the votes against challenger Sharlene Duzick, who has received 47.44% (2,361) of the votes. 

Newhall School District 

As of Tuesday’s update, Walters and challenger Robert were just 0.22%, or seven votes, apart in the race to represent Trustee Area No. 1 on the governing board. 

Walters held 50.11% (1,650) of the votes, just ahead of Robert, who has received 49.89% (1,643) of the votes. 

In the race to represent Trustee Area No. 2, Rachelle Haddoak held her lead with 53.58% (2,205) of the votes whereas Suverna Mistry received 46.42% (2,021) of the votes, with an unknown number of ballots remaining to be counted. 

Castaic Union School District 

Tuesday’s results indicated Mayreen Burk’s lead held steady in the race to represent Trustee Area E over Tracy Ford. Burk received 62.60% (554) of the votes while Ford received 37.40% (331) of the votes. 

Sulphur Springs Union School 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. 

Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency 

In the race for three open seats on the SCV Water Agency’s board of directors, Tuesday’s update showed Bill Cooper and Dirk Marks continued to hold strong leads in the polls to represent Division 1 and Division 2, respectively. 

Cooper had the top spot in the race to represent Division 1 with 64.63% (12,691) votes, followed by Nicole Wilson, who received 19.54% (3,837) of the votes, and Melissa Cantu with 15.83% (3,108) of the votes.  

Marks held his lead with 56.07% (13,264) of the votes to represent Division 2, followed by Sage Rafferty with 30.90% (7,310) of the votes and Kathy Colley, who received 13.03% (3,083) of the votes.  

The race to represent Division 3 remained the same as of Tuesday afternoon, with new numbers indicating Gutzeit held her narrow lead against Plambeck from Monday’s update. 

Gutzeit held the top spot with 51.19% (11,190) of the votes while Plambeck trailed behind with 48.81% (10,668) of the votes, with an unknown number of ballots remaining to be counted. 

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