Schiavo pulls ahead of Valladares by 571 votes


The tightly contested race for the 40th Assembly District has seen both candidates take the lead at least once since election day and as of Saturday, the candidates were still just a few 10ths of a percentage point apart.   

On Friday, incumbent Suzette Martinez Valladares, R-Santa Clarita, held on to a razor-thin 797-vote lead against Democratic challenger Pilar Schiavo. But Saturday’s update now shows the tables have turned yet again, with Schiavo holding a narrow 551-vote edge against Valladares. Schiavo has received 50.16% (79,282) of the votes and Valladares has received 49.84% (78,771).  

On Monday, Schiavo released a statement announcing her victory in the race to represent the 40th District, though an unknown number of ballots remain to be counted in the district. 

“I am so proud of the campaign we ran and I am so honored to be entrusted by the voters of Assembly District 40 to represent them in Sacramento,” Schiavo wrote in a prepared statement.  

“Our whole campaign, we prioritized talking with voters and it’s clear every conversation mattered, every door knocked, every phone call, and our secret weapon on a rainy Election Day, my mom’s warm homemade cookies to help volunteers going until polls closed — every part of our people-powered movement truly made the difference,” she added. 

In response to the latest voting results from Saturday, Valladares wrote on Twitter that “ballots are not going our way.”  

“We’ll keep watching thru Monday, but regardless of the outcome, as a former basketball player, I can honestly say my team and I left everything we had on the court,” Valladares tweeted on Saturday. 

If Schiavo holds her lead in Tuesday’s post-election results update, she would be the only Democratic challenger in the state to flip a seat from a Republican incumbent, according to her office.  

The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk estimates there are just 25,500 ballots outstanding, as of Saturday, the majority of which are Vote by Mail ballots (22,200).  

The Registrar’s office stated that outstanding VBM ballots are pending signatures from voters whose signature on the return envelope was either missing or did not match their registration record. It’s unknown, at the time of this publication, how many of those ballots will not be included in the final count.  

In the Newhall School District race to represent Trustee Area No. 1, incumbent Brian Walters lost his lead to challenger Donna Robert by just five votes. On Friday, Walters was ahead by 20 votes. Walters has received 49.94% (2,006) and Robert has received 50.06% (2,011).  

Maria Gutzeit continues to cling to a lead to represent Division 3 on the SCV Water Agency board of directors with 51.50% (13,565) of the votes over Lynne Plambeck, who has received 48.50% (12,773) of the votes.  

The results of most other SCV races appear to be no longer in doubt.  

Democratic challenger Christy Smith conceded to incumbent Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, on Wednesday in the race for the 27th Congressional District – a race that secured a Republican majority in the House of Representatives.  

Incumbents Bill Miranda, Laurene Weste and Marsha Mclean appear as if they have secured re-election to the Santa Clarita City Council.   

In the William S. Hart Union High School District, incumbents Bob Jensen, Cherise Moore and Joe Messina all hold solid leads for re-election.  

In the Saugus Union School District, Cassandra Love continues to lead Jesus Henao, with 52.31% (2,964) and 47.69% (2,702) of the votes, respectively, to see who’ll represent Trustee Area No. 1 on the governing board.   

Anna Griese has built a secure lead over incumbent Laura Arrowsmith 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, incumbent Christopher Trunkey leads with 53.65% (3,165) of the votes against challenger Sharlene Duzick, who has received 48.35% (2,963) of the votes.  

In the Newhall School District’s Trustee Area No. 2, Rachelle Haddoak leads with 53.70% (2,793) of the votes over Suverna Mistry, who has received 46.30% (2,408) of the votes.  

In the Castaic Union School District, Maureen Burk’s lead in Trustee Area E appears secure over Tracy Ford.  

In the race for three open seats on the SCV Water Agency’s board of directors, Bill Cooper and Dirk Marks have secured leads in their runs to represent Division 1 and Division 2, respectively.  

Next Update 

According to the Registrar-Recorder’s Office, Saturday’s additional voting results include 154,699 ballots processed since Friday’s update. The total election results count is now 2,441,323, which is 43.38% of registered voters.   

The Registrar-Recorder’s Office is slated to announce its next update of the preliminary election results on Tuesday.  

For graphics showing all of the updated tallies as of Saturday’s update, go to  

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