Barger, Garcia lead big after Friday count  

Valencia resident Cory Balousek casts his vote at the Saugus Union School District polling place in Valencia on Saturday, 030224. Dan Watson/The Signal
Valencia resident Cory Balousek casts his vote at the Saugus Union School District polling place in Valencia on Saturday, 030224. Dan Watson/The Signal

L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger thanked her supporters Thursday in a statement noting she’s “positioned to continue representing our county’s large and diverse 5th District,” which includes the Santa Clarita Valley. 

She stopped short of declaring outright victory, but the numbers so far have spoken volumes. 

She leads Assemblyman Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, by 58.74% to 21.37% as of Friday evening, which the county said was its third update after the initial count in Tuesday’s election. The next one is scheduled for Monday. 

According to the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder’s Office, there have been 1,217,867 ballots processed, and it’s estimated that there are still 408,500 to be processed.  

Holden’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment Friday. 

In the statement issued Thursday evening, Barger, a Republican, thanked the support she was able to claim from both sides of the aisle in the nonpartisan race, which included business organizations as well as labor groups; the Sierra Club and Planned Parenthood, as well as more conservative voices like local City Council members in Santa Clarita and law enforcement unions. 

“I want to thank every voter who supported our campaign. It is because of your support that I am positioned to continue representing our county’s large and diverse 5th District,” she said.   

“Our county is at a critical juncture and there is much to do. We have to keep working to raise the quality of life of all residents,” she added. “We have to keep working to address our most pressing local issues such as homelessness and keeping communities safe. I am optimistic we have momentum to deliver meaningful change. I look forward to the work that lies ahead.” 

While Barger was eyeing victory, Jon Hatami, a Valencia resident, child crimes prosecutor and local candidate for the District Attorney’s Office, thanked his supporters as he remained in third after Friday’s update. 

“Even though the vote count didn’t bring the results we hoped for in this election, I am so proud of all we have accomplished together,” Hatami shared in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Our work to restore public safety, victims’ rights, transparency and accountability and bring real reforms to our justice system isn’t over.” 
Nathan Hochman, a former prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice, and District Attorney George Gascón, appear headed for a runoff in the Nov. 5 election. 

Hochman said the “Golden Age of Criminals is coming to an end,” in his response to the initial results, which had him trailing the incumbent by about 5%. 

Gascón posted a statement on Instagram indicating his support, which was 23.48% of the vote compared to Hochman’s 16.96% in the 12-person race, represented a vindication of his policies. 

“We are very optimistic about our path to victory in November,” according to the campaign post on social media. “Voters will have a clear choice between making our justice system safer and more equitable, as opposed to a Republican tough-on-crime plan that turns the clock back to the mass incarceration tactics of the mid-’90s.” 

Congress, Legislature  

In the 27th Congressional District, Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, maintained a significant lead over George Whitesides, a former NASA chief of staff. 

For the 27th District, which is entirely in L.A. County, Garcia pulled in 56.8%, or 59,979 votes, to Whitesides’ 31.6%, or 33,362 votes, as of the county’s tally listed on the California Secretary of State’s website Friday. 

Steve Hill, a small-business owner, stood in third with 11.7% of the tally, or 12,319 votes. 

For the state Senate 23rd District, Republican Suzette Martinez Valladares maintained a lead over Democrat Kipp Mueller, with both slated to go through to the general election based on the returns with 33.9% and 28.1%, respectively. 

Saugus High teacher D.J. Hamburger, a Republican, is short of being one of the top two by about 4,500 votes. 

Blanca Azucena Gomez and Ollie McCaulley, both Democrats, rounded out the field, with 9.1% and 4.8%, respectively. 

State Sen. Henry Stern, D-Calabasas, is headed for a runoff with Lucie Volotzky, a Republican business owner, as the top-two finishers in a three-person race for the 27th District. 

Stern led 43.4% to 39.0% after Friday evening, with Susan Collins in third with 17.6%. 

In the state Assembly 34th District race, Sen. Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale, whose district includes an eastern portion of the SCV, nearly doubled the vote of Democrat Ricardo Ortega. 

Lackey was leading 66.1% to 33.9% with a little over 60,000 votes counted. Both will automatically go through to November as the only two candidates on the ballot. 

Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo, D-Santa Clarita, is now trailing Republican challenger Patrick Gipson, a retired sheriff’s deputy, by a margin of 51.9% to 48.1% in the state Assembly 40th District race. As the only two candidates, the incumbent Schiavo and Gipson were slated to continue to November. 

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