Mayor Bill Bogaard and Pasadena City Council members Steve Madison and Steve Haderlein will remain in office another four years, voters decided in Tuesday’s primary election.
The Pasadena Education Foundation’s Tom Selinske, voters also decided, will serve a four-year term on the Pasadena Board of Education.
But many others left the night’s ballot counting at the Pasadena Convention Center singing the Election Night blues.
As retired teacher and defeated school board candidate George Loew put it, “I’ll go home and have a stiff drink, and I’ll think about what I’m going to do next tomorrow.”
Winners of council and school board races involving more than two candidates will be determined by runoff elections on April 17 between the two top vote-getters in each race.
Moving on in the contest to replace retiring District 1 Councilwoman Joyce Streator are 28-year-old Jacque Robinson, who received 28.7 percent of 1,795 votes cast in that race, and restaurateur Robin Salzer, who came in second by just four votes.
“People are ready for some new ideas,” said Robinson, “and what better person to do that than someone born and raised in the system we’re trying to fix.”
Margaret McAustin and Jim Lomako will face each other again in a runoff to replace District 2 Councilman Paul Little, who is also retiring from office. Of 1,772 votes cast, McAustin received 43.7 percent support and Lomako stayed alive with 28.7 percent, edging out third-place finisher Stacy Lewis by just 23 votes.
Perhaps the night’s most nervous candidate, however, was Haderlein who, according to Democratic political consultant Fred Register early that evening, faced the night’s toughest race against opponent Gene Masuda’s nearly $100,000 worth of mailers and television ads.
“I’m not letting go of it,” Haderlein said after a report of the final tally was handed to him, still unable to relax.
Board of Education contests each drew participation from about 14,500 voters, lending high drama to contests despite an overall district-wide voter turnout of only 15.6 percent of 105,086 voters in Pasadena, Altadena and Sierra Madre.
Seat 2 hopeful Renatta Cooper made a strong showing of more than 7,000 votes, nearly avoiding the need to face her nearest opponent, Mark Mastromatteo, in a runoff. Loew fell short of making the next round by only 161 votes.
Board member Bill Bibbiani, the only incumbent in the schools races, also nearly avoided a runoff with 46.5 percent support, but will face off again with Green Street restaurant owner and longtime education activist Bob Harrison in April.
Despite losing to Selinske by fewer than 500 votes in the race for Seat 6, reform candidate Roberta Martinez still managed to smile.
“It tells you there’s a real, across-the-board concern for change when you have something this close,” she said, promising to continue her calls for increased transparency in school board activity.
— Joe Piasecki