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In the tightly contested race for the 40th Assembly District, Democratic challenger Pilar Schiavo remained in the lead Tuesday, just a few 10ths of a percentage point ahead of incumbent Suzette Martinez Valladares, R-Santa Clarita.   

From the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s Tuesday’s post-election returns, Schiavo held on to her razor-thin lead by 498 votes against Valladares. Schiavo has received 50.16% (79,562) of the votes and Valladares has received 49.84% (79,064) of the votes.  

With just 15,105 ballots remaining to be counted, the Registrar-Recorder’s Office announced election certification will be on Dec. 5. 

On Monday, Schiavo released a statement announcing her victory in the race to represent the 40th District, though an unknown number of ballots remain to be counted in the district. 

“I am so proud of the campaign we ran and I am so honored to be entrusted by the voters of Assembly District 40 to represent them in Sacramento,” Schiavo wrote in a prepared statement. 

If Schiavo’s lead continues to hold, she would be the only Democratic challenger in the state to flip a seat from a Republican incumbent, according to her office.  

“It’s extraordinary that in the district President Biden won by 16 points, and where Democrats hold a 13-point registration advantage, this election is coming down to a few hundred votes, and as a Republican I’m as close as I am,” Valladares wrote in a statement sent to The Signal after Tuesday’s results update was released. 

“It demonstrates how important the ideas and issues were that we presented in this campaign, and that so many Democratic and independent voters trusted me with their vote,” Valladares added. “There are still more votes to go and we look forward to every vote being counted.” 

According to Mike Sanchez, public information officer for the Registrar-Recorder’s Office, anyone can initiate a ballot recount and there is no automatic trigger for one to occur.  

“That being said, if a voter does initiate a recount, it must be done within five days of our office certifying election results,” Sanchez said. “They go through a variety of different steps and processes.” 

An individual initiating the recount process would also have to pay for the process to occur, with the possibility of being reimbursed if the initial ballot count was incorrect. 

In the Newhall School District race to represent Trustee Area No. 1, challenger Donna Robert continued to lead in the race by 10 votes against incumbent Brian Walters, who was most recently in the lead by 20 votes on Friday.  

As of Tuesday’s returns, Robert has received 50.12% (2,021) of the votes whereas Walters has received 49.88% (2,011) of the votes.  

The results of most other SCV races appear to be no longer in doubt. 

Democratic challenger Christy Smith conceded to incumbent Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, on Wednesday in the race for the 27th Congressional District – a race that secured a Republican majority in the House of Representatives.  

Incumbents Bill Miranda, Laurene Weste and Marsha Mclean appeared to have secured re-election to the Santa Clarita City Council.   

In the William S. Hart Union High School District, incumbents Bob Jensen, Cherise Moore and Joe Messina led in their respective races for re-election.  

In the Saugus Union School District, Cassandra Love continued to lead Jesus Henao, with 52.29% (2,974) and 47.71% (2,714) of the votes, respectively, to see who’ll represent Trustee Area No. 1 on the governing board.   

Anna Griese has built a secure lead over incumbent Laura Arrowsmith in the race to represent Trustee Area No. 2. Arrowsmith’s name appeared on the election ballot, but she dropped out in September because she moved out of the trustee area.   

In the race to represent Trustee Area No. 5, incumbent Christopher Trunkey leads with 51.57% (3,171) of the votes against challenger Sharlene Duzick, who has received 48.43% (2,978) of the votes.  

In the Newhall School District’s Trustee Area No. 2, Rachelle Haddoak led with 53.65% (2,804) of the votes over Suverna Mistry, who has received 46.35% (2,422) of the votes.  

In the Castaic Union School District, Maureen Burk’s led in the race to represent Trustee Area E  over Tracy Ford with a 263-vote lead. 

In the race for three open seats on the SCV Water Agency’s board of directors, Bill Cooper and Dirk Marks have secure leads in their runs to represent Division 1 and Division 2, respectively.  

Maria Gutzeit leads her opponent Lynne Plambeck to represent Division 3 on the SCV Water Agency board of directors with 51.50% (13,605) of the votes and 48.50% (12,815) of the votes, respectively. 

Next Update 

According to the Registrar-Recorder’s Office, Tuesday’s additional voting results included 10,331 ballots processed since the last update. The total election results count is now 2,451,654, which is 43.56% of registered voters.   

The Registrar-Recorder’s Office is slated to announce its next update of the preliminary election results on Tuesday, Nov. 29.  

For graphics showing all of the updated tallies as of Tuesday’s update, go to signalscv.com/2022/11/election-2022-results.