Redondo election Horvath, Diels, Emdee

Redondo Beach City Councilmember Christian Horvath, City Treasurer Steve Diels and Councilmember Laura Emdee (left to right) share a moment following early election returns Tuesday night, March 5, showing the three incumbents leading their opponents. (Photo by David Rosenfeld)

With just 34 ballots left to be verified in Redondo Beach following the March 5 election, it appears the city treasurer and both City Council incumbents will likely hold their seats.

The Los Angeles Registrar released the latest results on Tuesday, March 12, showing Councilmember Christian Horvath in District 3 besting his opponent Candace Nafissi 55 percent to 45 percent. Councilmember Laura Emdee continues to lead challenger Mel Samples in the District 5 race 63.3 percent to 36.8 percent.

For those voters with ballots left to be verified, they have until March 20 to contact the registrar and confirm their signatures. The registrar is aiming to certify the election by March 22, spokesperson Mike Sanchez has said.

In an interview Tuesday, March 12, Emdee said she was looking forward to putting the campaigning behind her.

“I’m hoping that the campaigning from the dais will stop and we’ll actually be able to have some real conversations,” Emdee said. “I think people are tired of going back and forth. I think it’s time for us to have real conversations instead of ‘I gotcha’ all the time.”

Both Samples and Nafissi attempted to confront their opponents on their votes in favor of the waterfront redevelopment deal in 2017. Emdee said she tried to focus on North Redondo Beach in her campaigning, which likely served her well.

“The voters were not concerned as much about the waterfront,” Emdee said. “The majority of people were concerned about their own neighborhoods.”

In the race for city treasurer, Steve Diels looks to hold his seat with 65 percent of the vote in the only citywide contest this year. City Clerk Eleanor Manzano won her fourth term in office in an election that was unopposed.

Diels said the election was a repudiation of Mayor Bill Brand who aligned himself with the challengers.

Redondo Beach Unified School District board member David Witkin and Redondo Beach Education Foundation executive director Raymor Flinn also won four-year terms in contests that were unopposed.

Voter turnout in Redondo Beach was slightly lower this year citywide than elections four years ago, according to the city clerk. Overall, 23.2 percent of the city’s 45,612 registered voters cast ballots in the March 5 election, Monzano said.

Within individual Districts 3 and 5, however, voter turnout was slightly higher. In 2014 in District 3, 2,626 voters cast ballots compared to 2,906 in elections this year. In District 5, 1,742 voters cast ballots four years ago compared to 2,411 this year, according to Manzano.

Contact Lisa Jacobs lisa.jacobs@TBRnews.com or follow her on Twitter @lisaannjacobs.

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