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Election: Incumbents McLean, Weste win; Ferry, challenger Gauny too close to call

Provisional and vote-by-mail ballots yet to be counted

Posted: April 13, 2010 11:57 p.m.
Updated: April 14, 2010 12:27 a.m.

City Council candidate David Gauny, right, and his daughter Carly cheer on the returns at Robinson Ranch Golf Club on Tuesday, as they watch the results come in. Ferry and Gauny came within 69 votes of each other by the end of the night, with hundreds of ballots still to be counted.

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Santa Clarita voters re-elected Marsha McLean and Laurene Weste to the City Council on Tuesday, with incumbent Frank Ferry ahead of challenger David Gauny by a mere 69 votes with hundreds of ballots yet to be counted.

City officials still must tally some 250 to 300 provisional and vote-by-mail ballots. The final result might not be known until Monday.

“I’m excited. It’s unbelievably close,” said Gauny, adding he is considering calling for a recount. “It’s not over until it’s over.”

Challenger TimBen Boydston also captured a respectable portion of the vote, with the other six challengers trailing far behind.

On Tuesday night, the incumbents were cautiously optimistic but declined to declare victory. They said they were glad to be done with a rough election, which McLean and Ferry said was the most negative they’ve experienced.

“I’m happy with the way things are going,” said McLean, who led the polls with 6,550 votes as of 10:21 p.m. “I think the voters, for the most part, are happy and they realize it.”

She added, however, that she thought Gauny and Boydston had run unfair campaigns.

“I love a good debate,” McLean said. “What I don’t like is when people purposely misrepresent the facts.”

Gauny said if he loses, he will remain involved in city politics and run again in 2012.

“Illegal immigration is a critical concern and it’s growing, and we need to deal with it locally,” he said. “Our City Council is out of touch with issues that matter. People watching City Hall understand we need change. Those voting the incumbents in don’t know what’s going on in City Hall.”

Likewise, Ferry said he would remain dedicated to improving Santa Clarita, regardless of the ultimate outcome.

“My title won’t change who I am,” Ferry said.

Some of the candidates celebrated election night at wildly different spots across Santa Clarita.

Challengers Boydston and Henry Schultz had a private party at The Egg Plantation, a Newhall restaurant in a yellow, Victorian-style shopping center. As the numbers rolled in, Boydston’s supporters brought him a chocolate cake and sang “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” for him.

“I had volunteers working 40 hours a week,” Boydston said. “My opponents could write a check for $50,000 and overcome that. We ran an incredibly clean campaign about the issues.”

He added he was proud of his campaign, especially his volunteers.

Gauny held forth at Robinson Ranch, a Sand Canyon country club. There, supporters milled about a room overlooking the golf course and enjoyed a no-host bar as a six-piece band played music. City Councilman Bob Kellar, who supported Gauny, was there.

Ferry and McLean visited the home of fellow council member Laurie Ender, surrounded by friends, family and children and snacking on cheese, cookies and candy.

Weste celebrated at a friend’s small office in Valencia with about 30 people, mostly friends, family and close supporters.

Homemade snacks adorned tables as the casually dressed visitors mingled. Weste’s campaign signs adorned the front lawn.

This will be the fourth consecutive term for Weste, who has served on the City Council since 1998, and the third for McLean, who was first elected in 2002. If re-elected, it would be the fourth for Ferry, who has served since 1998.

Signal staff writers Jonathan Randles, Marianne Love and Tammy Marashlian contributed to this report.

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