School Board candidate Steve Ferguson speaks to a gathering of supporters at former Mayor Mary Lou Howard’s home as fellow candidate Roberta Grande Reynolds and Juan Guillen and Mayor David Gordon listen in. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)
Candidates for both the Burbank City Council and the Burbank School Board braced themselves for results that started to come in around 8:30 pm. Unlike several other elections, the candidates stayed pretty much the same in voting percentage as the night went on before all 20 precincts reported.
In the City Council race, incumbent Emily Gabel-Luddy was the top vote getter, collecting 4,142 votes, which equaled 41 percent of the votes cast. For a candidate to be elected outright in the Primary, they would need 50% plus one vote. Will Rogers ran a close second with 3,533 votes.
Fellow City Council member Jess Talamantes joined candidate Emily Gabel-Luddy and others at The Ramp. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)
Also making their way to the General election was Christopher Rizzotti (2,356) and Juan Guillen Jr. (2,303). With two seats up for the grabs, the top four received a pass to compete.
Not making it was David Nos (2,140), Elise Stearns-Niesen (1,451) and Sharon Springer (1,202).
In the School Board race, there was much better news for two of the candidates, incumbent Roberta Grande-Reynolds and Steve Ferguson, who both received over 50 percent of the vote and were immediately elected. Grande-Reynolds was the leading vote getter with 5,327 votes while second place finisher Ferguson collected 5,068 votes.
Armond Aghakhanian pictured with his son Arameh Aghakhanian. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)
With three total seats up for grabs, one will remain at play with the next two top vote getters, Dr. Armond Aghakhanian collecting 3,678 votes and will face Gregory Sousa (3,028 votes) in the General election. Vahe Hovanessian (2,946) and Jesse Tangkhpanya (1,873) rounded out the field.
While the vote count is unofficial, results are not likely to change. There are about 130 votes that still need to be certified by the County before a final vote count will be reported on Friday according to Burbank City Clerk Zizette Mullins.
The unofficial results show that of the 61,162 eligible voters, 10,103 cast their ballot for a 17% voter turnout. By comparison, 9,869 ballots were cast in the 2013 Primary; 8106 ballots were cast in the 2011 Primary according to spokesman Drew Sugars of the City of Burbank.
Looking over her husband Bill’s shoulder is City Council Candidate Emily Gabel-Luddy with other supporters. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)
Current Councilwoman Gabel-Luddy was happy with her first place showing in the Primary, “I feel great. I just want to thanks all of my friends and supporters.
When you are an incumbent, you run on your record. I know that the issues in the future will be development and of course parking and traffic.”
She also believes that in the coming weeks ‘Mansionization ‘ and the Bob Hope Airport will continue to be hot issues that not only the candidates, but the Council will have to deal with.
Candidates Juan Guillen, Roberta Grande Reynolds and Steve Ferguson. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)
“The Airport giving us a deadline really got us to focus”, she said. “How we move forward from this point is very important”
Some other issues she will look forward to dealing with include the Domestic Violence Task Force and additional strategies for traffic in local neighborhoods.
The General Election is scheduled for Tuesday, April 14 and will once again will be an all mail election.