Bob Kellar sailed to his easiest victory ever in his bid for re-election to the Santa Clarita City Council on Tuesday, while TimBen Boydston turned Mayor Laurie Ender out of office with a strong showing in election-day balloting.
Ender, the first sitting mayor to be defeated in Santa Clarita’s nearly 25-year history, led Boydston by roughly 200 votes when all 10,743 absentee or “vote by mail” ballots that came in over the past three weeks were tabulated. But Boydston pulled ahead in precinct voting, indicating he came on strong with voters at the end of the race.
Kellar finished well ahead of the 5-person pack with 7,045 votes. Boydston garnered 5,723, followed by Ender with 5,135.
Challengers Ed Colley and Jon Hatami finished the race with 4,237 and 3,742 votes, respectively.
Kellar’s first-place finish marks a departure. First elected to the council in 2000, he finished second in a race for two seats in each of his previous elections.
Ender served just one term on the council. She is only the third incumbent to lose a bid for re-election.
Kellar and Boydston will be sworn into their four-year council terms later this month.
As usual, absentee ballots outnumbered election-day precinct votes. The last time precinct ballots outnumbered absentees was 1998. In the last council election in 2010, more than twice as many absentee ballots were cast than election-day ballots – 10,052 versus 4,895. The exact number of Tuesday’s election-day ballots is not known, but the proportions are similiar.
Boydston served on the City Council from December 2006 to April 2008. He was appointed to fill a vacancy that was created when Cameron Smyth was elected to the Assembly. Boydston ran for City Council in 2010, finishing fifth in a race for three seats. He also ran for county supervisor when Santa Clarita Valley residents tried to form their own “Canyon County” in the 1970s.
Kellar is a retired LAPD officer, former city planning commissioner and an active Realtor. Ender was a television producer and served on the city’s Parks Commission prior to her election to the council. Boydston is executive director of the Canyon Theatre Guild. Colley is a teacher in the William S. Hart Union High School District and an elected member of the Castaic Lake Water Agency board. Hatami is a deputy district attorney.
The numbers will change slightly when all provisional ballots are counted – such as “late absentee” ballots delivered at the last moment, and ballots cast by voters at the wrong precinct – but not enough to change the outcome of the election.
10,743 total absentee votes
Kellar – 4,982
Ender – 4,012
Boydston – 3,810
Colley – 3,357
Hatami – 2,861