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Headline: Super Tense Tuesday

Posted: February 6, 2008 11:34 a.m.
Updated: April 8, 2008 2:02 a.m.

Tim Bennett of Canyon Country casts his California primary ballot inside Royal Suide Bedrooms - a bedroom furniture store that served as a polling site Tuesday.

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Millions of voters in 22 states including California made sure their voices were heard in what may be the most dramatic stage of the 2008 primary election. Dubbed "Super Tuesday," voters went to the polls to support their favorite presidential candidates, taking one step closer to choosing the top nominee for each political party - both major and minor.

Supporters on both sides of the aisle in Santa Clarita Valley were excited about Super Tuesday. The SCV Democrats gathered at a local residence to watch election results together and root for a Democratic presidency.
"We are headed toward some dark times before we get this ship repaired," said Carole Lutness of the SCV Democrats, who spoke about the role a Democrat president will play should they win the election in November. "We have two candidates who are able to steer this ship."
Members of the SCV Democrats felt the biggest issues in this election include the recession, withdrawal from Iraq and health care.
"The last time we were in a recession, it took a Democrat to get us out of it," said Mike Cruz, vice-president of the Democratic Club of Santa Clarita Valley. "Now that we have a recession again, it will take a Democrat to get us out of it, again."
While nearly 50 local Democrats gathered in Valencia to watch election results on Tuesday night, SCV Republican groups did not have an official event or get together. Nonetheless local Republicans do believe that the 2008 General Election is vital.
"This is the first race we had like this since 1952," said U.S. Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon. "So it's an exciting time. I think this election is great for getting people involved who otherwise wouldn't be involved in the electoral process."
McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, was also intrigued by the fact that this race is so wide open.
"It looks to me that nothing is decided, and everything is wide open," he said. "It absolutely indicates that America is not yet decided on the next president."
Yet McKeon stressed the Republicans are very concerned about who controls the White House next term.
"If we do not have a majority in House and Senate, then it becomes crucial to who controls the White House," he said. "With a Democratic-controlled House and Senate, a Republican in the White House can at least veto some of the bad legislation and policy that they will propose."
Voters did not get out to the ballot boxes to vote for presidential nominees. A variety of propositions and measures made it onto the California ballot on Super Tuesday.
Locally, Measure V was the biggest issue in the Santa Clarita Valley. The school bond measure, if approved, would allow for construction of a permanent structure for Vasquez High School in Acton.
"We need a new high school," said Stan Halperin, superintendent of the Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District. "It's a celebration of the community and a commitment of this community to say education is important."
The school bond measure, which would be managed by the Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District, is for $46.2 million. Plans call for Vasquez High School to be built in three phases, one each in the years 2008, 2013 and 2018.
Proponents of the measure, who have tried at least three times before to pass a similar measure, think this time the measure will work.
"I think it's overdue," said Marla Cremin, whose fifth-grade daughter attends Meadowlark Elementary School in Acton and 10th grade son attends Paraclete High School in Lancaster.
Cremin added that she understands why the opponents are against the measure, yet does not think they should have much to worry about.
"The people who are against it are worried about additional property taxes," she said. "They also don't trust the school board to spend the money the right way. Yet there is a new school board now and the president has turned things around. The funds would only be used for building the school, not repairs or salaries."
Cremin added that the passage of Measure V is necessary, since Vasquez is currently comprised of trailers, does not foster college preparedness for high school students and does not attract new residents to the area.
"I send my son to Paraclete because I don't think he will be as prepared for college if he attended school here."
Opponents of the measure are indeed concerned about higher property taxes.
"We don't have the ability or industry to support this measure," said Sondra Tersigni, a 32-year resident of Agua Dulce who pointed out there were issues with budgeting. "They say $46 per $100,000, but they can't promise that."
While voters may find out the results of the state issues over the course of the week, McKeon said it may be weeks before the Democrats have a firm idea about who their nominee will be, though the Republicans may find out a little sooner.


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