The official final count of the 2015 Burbank Primary Municipal Election was released last Friday by the City Clerk’s Office. There were 87 ballots sent to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder for signature verification. So now all the ballots have been verified and the election certified. The final number of ballots returned 10,190 or 16.6 percent of the 61,104 mailed to eligible voters.
Bottom line, the results of last Tuesday night, February 24, held steady with two candidates winning seats outright on the school board, while two school board candidates and four city council contenders are moving on to the general election.
Burbank Board of Education president, Roberta Reynolds, won a third term with the most votes of any candidate in the primary. Joining Reynolds on the board, activist Steve Ferguson, who also got more than the required majority of 50 percent plus one vote.
Making the cut for the general election next month for the remaining third open seat on the school board, Greg Sousa and Dr. Armond Aghakhanian.
Here is the final count for the six school board candidates:
Roberta Reynolds (5,362 votes)
Steve Ferguson (5,107 votes)
Armond Aghakhanian (3,710 votes)
Greg Sousa (3,049 votes)
Vahe Hovanessian (2,971 votes)
Jesse Tangkhpanya (1,886 votes)
In the city council race, incumbent, Emily Gabel-Luddy, is forced into a run-off with three candidates, Will Rogers, Chris Rizzotti, and Juan Guillen. None of the candidates received a majority of the votes in the primary. They will battle it out for the two open seats on the council in the April 14 general election.
Here is the final count for the city council candidates:
Emily Gabel-Luddy (4,170 votes)
Will Rogers (3,563 votes)
Chris Rizzotti (2,378 votes)
Juan Guillen (2,324 votes)
David Nos (2,151 votes)
Elise Stearns-Niesen (1,464 votes)
Sharon Springer (1,303 votes)
A close look at the primary results shows money “talks,” but it didn’t turn the tide. Gabel-Luddy and Rizzotti got the most attention from outside political groups, however, neither got a majority of the votes cast.
In terms of expenditures by the candidates, Reynolds won her seat and Sousa, a newcomer, got into the run-off by spending no more than $1,000 each on their campaigns. By the way, Sousa did not use yard signs nor any type of banners, but relied on door knocking and flyers as the mainstay of his campaign.
Clearly, other factors such as candidate’s message, qualifications, and stand on the issues carried more weight with the voters than political advertisements. And that is very comforting.