Wednesday’s post-election results show slight lead increases in close races

Voters submit their ballot electronically in the voting booths at Rio Norte Junior High School in Valencia, Calif., on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.
Voters submit their ballot electronically in the voting booths at Rio Norte Junior High School in Valencia, Calif., on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. Chris Torres/The Signal

NRCC issues statement regarding Garcia’s projected win of the 27th Congressional District race 

No positions were swapped in local elections Wednesday as the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk released its latest update of votes from the Nov. 8 election, as some of the margins in some of the Santa Clarita Valley’s closest races either held steady or grew slightly larger. 

Incumbent Suzette Martinez Valladares held her lead with 50.91% (68,571) of the votes in the race to represent the state’s 40th Assembly District as of Wednesday’s post-election results, but Democratic challenger Pilar Schiavo followed close behind with 49.09% (66,119) of the votes. 

Valladares held first in the race with just 2,452 votes between her and Schiavo.  

In addition, a pair of races for the Newhall School District board and Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency continued to be neck and neck. However, candidate Maria Gutzeit pulled slightly further ahead over her opponent Lynne Plambeck in the race to represent the water agency’s board of directors in Division 3.  

As of Wednesday’s update, in the Newhall district race to represent Division 1, incumbent Brian Walters held his lead over challenger Donna Robert by 17 votes. Walters has received 50.24% (1,779) of the votes while Robert has received 49.76% (1,762) of the votes.  

In the water agency race to represent Division 3, Gutzeit held her lead with 51.28% (11,812) of the votes over Plambeck, who has received 48.72% (11,222) of the votes.  

The National Republican Congressional Committee also released a statement congratulating U.S. Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, on his projected win in the race to represent the 27th Congressional District.  

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. After that initial bump, his lead has shrunk in small increments with subsequent updates. 

In Wednesday’s post-election results update, Garcia held his lead with 54.19% (89,550) of the votes over Democratic challenger Christy Smith, who has received 45.81% (75,704) of the votes. 

“Congratulations to Mike Garcia on his reelection,” NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer wrote in a prepared statement. “Mike always puts California and his district first, and that’s why he keeps winning. I look forward to our continued service together.” 

Garica’s projected win helped Republicans reach 218 seats, which was the number Republicans needed to claim the House majority. Ballots are still being counted in a few more close races across the nation.  

The post-election results continued to favor incumbents of the Santa Clarita City Council and William S. Hart Union High School District governing board over their challengers. 

According to the Registrar-Recorder’s Office, Wednesday’s additional voting results added 105,160 ballots to the total returns reported previously, which brings the total up to 1,997,887 ballots counted.  

After Wednesday’s count, an estimated 463,050 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 Thursday between 4 and 5 p.m. 

Santa Clarita City Council 

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

Weste held the top spot in the race for City Council with 20% (28,803) of the votes. Miranda remained in second with 19.69% (28,365) of the votes, followed by McLean, in third, with 17.21% (24,793) of the votes. 

Denise Lite, who is in fourth in the polls, has received 15.45% (22,257) of the votes.  

Jeffrey Malick held fifth place in the polls with 8.61% (12,409) of the votes, followed by Selina Thomas with 8.35% (12,025) of the votes, David Barlavi with 7.31% (10,536) of the votes, Douglas Fraser with 2.37% (3,414) of the votes and Kody Amour, who dropped out of the race in September, with 1.01% (1,448) 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, Wednesday’s returns showed incumbents Bob Jensen, Cherise Moore and Joe Messina in the lead. 

Jensen held the lead with 67.47% (10,298) of the votes over Andrew Taban, who has received 32.53% (4,964) of the vote, in the race for Trustee Area No. 2. Moore was in the same position as Jensen with 61.18% (6,122) of the votes over Teresa Todd, who has received 38.82% (3,885) of the votes, to represent Trustee Area No. 3. 

In the race to represent Trustee Area No. 5, Messina received 60.33% (11,288) of the votes and challenger Rebecca Hindman received 39.67% (7,423) of the votes.  

Saugus Union School District 

In the Saugus district, as of Wednesday’s update Cassandra Love furthered her lead over Jesus Henao, with 52.29% (2,499) and 47.71% (2,280) of the votes, respectively, to see who’ll represent Trustee Area No. 1 on the governing board.  

Anna Griese has received 57.94% (4,099) of the votes while incumbent Laura Arrowsmith has received 42.06% (2,975) 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, Wednesday’s returns showed incumbent Christopher Trunkey ahead of his opponent with 52.32% (2,823) of the votes against challenger Sharlene Duzick, who has received 47.68% (2,573) of the votes. 

Newhall School District 

In the race to represent Trustee Area No. 2, Rachelle Haddoak held her lead with 53.52% (2,439) of the votes whereas Suverna Mistry has received 46.48% (2,118) of the votes, with an unknown number of ballots remaining to be counted. 

Castaic Union School District 

Wednesday’s results indicated Mayreen Burk’s lead held steady in the race to represent Trustee Area E over Tracy Ford. Burk received 62.73% (569) of the votes while Ford received 37.27% (338) 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, Wednesday’s update showed Bill Cooper and Dirk Marks still held strong leads in the polls to represent Division 1 and Division 2, respectively. 

Cooper led in the race to represent Division 1 with 64.69% (13,220) votes, followed by Nicole Wilson, who received 19.52% (3,989) of the votes, and Melissa Cantu with 15.79% (3,227) of the votes.  

Marks held his lead with 56.08% (14,072) of the votes to represent Division 2, followed by Sage Rafferty with 30.89% (7,752) of the votes and Kathy Colley who received 13.02% (3,268) of the votes.  

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