Election stunner leaves one seat wide open.
In a shocking late-count surge, challenger David Gauny has pulled to within 69 votes of incumbent Frank Ferry for the last open Santa Clarita City Council seat.
The other two seats up in this election cycle were won by incumbents Marsha McLean and Laurene Weste.
Ferry, who at one time led Gauny by 800 votes, saw his lead diminish rapidly as the final precincts were tabulated. Gauny's late surge created a race for the final open City Council seat that is too close to call one way or the other.
The only votes that remain uncounted are provisional ballots and absentee ballots that were dropped off at polling places on Tuesday. City Manager Ken Pulskamp claims that 250-300 votes have yet to be counted.
The City Clerk will determine this week which votes they can count, and which need to be transferred to Los Angeles County for signature verification. Pulskamp expects to have a final number no later than Monday.
A somewhat stunned David Gauny told KHTS that he had already thanked his supporters when the surge changed everything.
"When we were 800 votes behind I talked to the crowd and said ‘hey, thanks for all the work, we've done a great job, we've run a great campaign and I feel proud of everybody,"' he said. "And then all of a sudden things started turning, and obviously the momentum is still here and there's a group of people looking at it and thinking ‘how did this happen' and we're excited. I feel great."
Gauny speculated that increased participation may have helped create the present situation.
"In the last few weeks there's been a lot more voters coming out, and I think that's showing in the decreasing gap between myself and Frank Ferry."
At a post election party across town, Frank Ferry said that he's been in close elections before.
"Honestly, in my first election I was running against Jill Klajic and Jan Heidt, I worked so hard, put in 20-hour days and was ahead in the beginning and lost by 60 votes," he told KHTS' Carol Rock.
Ferry is still optimistic; he says he has no regrets.
"I knew it would be a tough race. I feel I've given 12 years of public service and I would do the same type of things without the councilman title."
While the third City Council seat remains a mystery to Ferry, Gauny and everyone else in Santa Clarita, the other challengers went home empty handed. TimBen Boydston received the fifth-highest vote tally, followed by Harrison Katz, Henry Schultz, David Galvan, Daniel Henriquez, Kenneth Mann and Johnny Pride.
The new Council formation, however it ends up, will be presented at the next scheduled meeting on April 27.
Here are the full results, UPDATED Wednesday, April 14 at 12:00 p.m.
3 seats open.
|Candidate||Votes||% of vote
|Marsha McLean (i)||6,550
|Laurene Weste (i)||6,432
|*Frank Ferry (i)||6,256
|Kenneth W. Mann||772
*Too close to call.
32 of 32 precincts reporting
Carol Rock contributed to this report.