Robert Frutos claimed enough votes after Tuesday's primary to clinch a seat on the City Council, bypassing the need to compete in the April 9 general election and forcing the three incumbents into a match up in which only two seats remain.
With all 42 precincts reporting by 12:45 a.m. Wednesday, Frutos claimed 53% of the vote.
It was sweet revenge for a candidate who just two years ago lost the same race by 86 votes.
Reached by phone, earlier in the evening, Frutos said he was “very honored and blessed people have confidence in my candidacy.”
Incumbents David Gordon and Jess Talamantes rounded out the top three, with 4,670 and 4,319 votes, respectively. Longtime incumbent Dave Golonski held on at No. 4 with 4,089 and Dave Nos was in fifth place with 3,144.
Juan Guillen Jr. was eliminated from the general election ballot after coming last.
“You could always wish you could do more, knock on more doors,” Guillen said as the results came in. “At the very least, I hope I opened people's eyes to the dealings that go on in our City Council that just aren't right.”
In the Burbank Unified school board race, Larry Applebaum — at 4,451 was in the lead followed by Charlene Tabet — who along with fellow challenger David Dobson benefited from $6,675 in spending on her behalf by a controversial super PAC based in Sacramento. Tabet got 3,008.
“I think that the race is pretty close, closer than I thought it was going to be,” Applebaum said.
Steve Ferguson was in third with 3, 002 and Dobson was fourth at 2,842. Armond Aghakhanian came in with 2,723 votes. If the positions held, he could be cut from the general election ballot.
Roughly hundred ballots were still left outstanding.
For Ferguson, 23, just getting to the general election would be a major improvement over his dismal showing in the same race two years ago.
“I feel like the comeback kid. I started down and now we're really rallying ... and we're gonna win this,” he said as midway through the results period.
Interim City Clerk Zizette Mullins won her seat outright with 50.3%, meaning she would not have to compete in the April 9 election.
With no opposition, interim City Treasurer Debbie Kukta easily kept her post and appeared to have enough to bypass the April 9 election altogether.
-- Jason Wells, Alene Tchekmedyian and Kelly Corrigan, Times Community News