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Final count of the 2015 Burbank Primary Election

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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.

Photo: Greg Reyna / Freelancer / Media City G -- Re-elected school board member Roberta Reynolds with Media City Groove editor Fronnie Lewis at City Hall February 24, 2015

Photo: Greg Reyna / Freelancer / Media City G — Re-elected school board member Roberta Reynolds with Media City Groove editor Fronnie Lewis at City Hall February 24, 2015

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.

Photo: Greg Reyna / Freelancer / Media City G -- Newly elected school board member Steve Ferguson talked about his victory with Media City Groove editor Fronnie Lewis at City Hall February 24, 2015

Photo: Greg Reyna / Freelancer / Media City G — Newly elected school board member Steve Ferguson talked about his victory with Media City Groove editor Fronnie Lewis at City Hall February 24, 2015

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.

Photo: Greg Reyna / Freelancer / Media City G -- Burbank School Board candidates Greg Sousa and Dr. Armond Aghakhanian greeted each other at the Woodbury University forum February 4, 2015

Photo: Greg Reyna / Freelancer / Media City G — Burbank School Board candidates Greg Sousa and Dr. Armond Aghakhanian greeted each other at the Woodbury University forum February 4, 2015

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)

Photo: Greg Reyna / Freelancer / Media City G -- Incumbent Emily Gabel-Luddy flashed a confident smile as she moved through the crowd on the first floor of City Hall February 24, 2015

Photo: Greg Reyna / Freelancer / Media City G — Incumbent Emily Gabel-Luddy flashed a confident smile as she moved through the crowd on the first floor of City Hall February 24, 2015

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.

Photo: Greg Reyna / Freelancer / Media City -- City council candidate Will Rogers watched some of the returns at City Hall in Burbank February 24, 2015

Photo: Greg Reyna / Freelancer / Media City — City council candidate Will Rogers watched some of the returns at City Hall in Burbank February 24, 2015

Photo: Greg Reyna / Freelancer / Media City G -- City Council contender Chris Rizzotti at League of Women Voters of Glendale/Burbank candidates' forum City Hall Burbank January 20, 2015

Photo: Greg Reyna / Freelancer / Media City G — City Council contender Chris Rizzotti at League of Women Voters of Glendale/Burbank candidates’ forum City Hall Burbank January 20, 2015

Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- City council contender Juan Guillen at the League of Women Voters of Glendale/Burbank candidates' forum at City Hall in Burbank January 20, 2015

Photo: FLLewis / Media City G — City council contender Juan Guillen at the League of Women Voters of Glendale/Burbank candidates’ forum at City Hall in Burbank January 20, 2015

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.

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