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Big turnout nets surprises in Burbank Gen. Election 2020

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Burbank voters cast their ballots for local candidates and Measure RC in big numbers in the General Municipal Election on November 3. As of October 19, 2020, 73, 044 Burbank residents were registered to vote. So far, around 58,000 Burbank ballots have been processed. However, The ballots are still being counted by The Los Angeles County Registrar/County Clerk, but the numbers are already showing some surprises.

Voters opt for change in city council race

In the city council race, voters overwhelmingly picked change. Konstantine Anthony and Nick Schultz lead the pack of eight candidates for two open seats. Anthony has a wide margin of several thousand votes. This is the way the count has been going since the returns were posted by the county. If the numbers stay steady, Anthony and Schultz will be serving on the council for the first time.

As it stands now, current Council Member, Tim Murphy, is far behind the leaders. Murphy was appointed by the city council in May of 2018 to replace Councilman Will Rogers who had passed away. Murphy, a former member of the council from 1989-1993, apparently did not connect with the voters in his campaign to serve another full term.

Paul Herman holds the lead in fundraising

Like Murphy, candidate Paul Herman ran with heavy support from the city establishment. Herman got the endorsements of four current council members and many former city officials. As of October 17, 2020, Herman had raised the most money with $50,167, followed by Anthony with $43,242 and Schultz with $31,435. The rest of the candidates, fell below $20,000. These figures will probably go higher once the candidates turn in their final documents.

The frontrunner, Anthony, sees victory in sight and is looking ahead: “My immediate priorities are economic assistance and housing justice. We must help our small businesses and our homeless population right now or the situation in Burbank will only get worse. After that, affordable housing will be my top priority while in office.”

Election results as of November 13, 2020
City Council Candiates Votes Percent
KONSTANTINE ANTHONY 17,377 20.46%
NICK SCHULTZ 13,001 15.30%
TAMALA TAKAHASHI 12,532 14.75%
PAUL HERMAN 11,886 13.99%
TIM MURPHY 10,166 11.97%
SHARIS MANOKIAN 7,287 8.58%
LINDA BESSIN 7,277 8.57%
MICHAEL LEE GOGIN 5,421 6.38%

In the contest for three school board seats, a newcomer is way ahead of the incumbents. Grade school teacher, Emily Weisberg, has a sizable lead after running a strong campaign. School board member, Robert Reynolds, is in fourth. Reynolds was first elected to the Burbank Board of Education in 2007.

Election results as of November 13, 2020
School Board Candidates Votes Percent
EMILY WEISBERG 32,128 31.73%
ARMOND AGHAKHANIAN 23,880 23.58%
STEVE FERGUSON 23,227 22.94%
ROBERTA REYNOLDS 22,026 21.75%

In the race for Burbank City Treasurer voters apparently did not see a need for change. Krystle Palmer was appointed to the office by the city council in August of 2019. Palmer replaced Debbie Kukta who moved on to a position with the Burbank Unified School District. The election was to see who would complete Kukta’s term ending December 19, 2022. Palmer appears to have trounced her opponents and will most likely hold onto the office.

Election results as of November 13, 2020
City Treasurer Candidates Votes Percent
KRYSTLE PALMER 24,235 56.64%
LINDSEY FRANCOIS 9,648 22.55%
DARIN B. SHEA 8,907 20.82%

Meanwhile, Burbank ‘s rent control measure is on track for a defeat. The “no” votes for Measure RC are outnumbering “yes” votes by a large margin in the ballot count. If the numbers hold, the big winners would be large apartment owners, leaving renters with little or no protection against skyrocketing rents.

Election results as of November 13, 2020
Measure RC Votes Percent
NO 31,351 63.83%
YES 17,766 36.17%

Burbank City Clerk, Zizette Mullins, says it is unknown how many ballots the county still needs to process. The count is expected to be finished by the end of the month. The county reportedly will certify the election on Monday, November 30. The city council will certify the Burbank General Municipal Election on December 8. Newly elected Burbank officials will be sworn in at a ceremony on December 14.

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