From this week's Print Edition

Final Tally For Council Race Remains Same

FINAL VOTE TALLY
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Michael Cacciotti

So Pas voters gave incumbent City Councilman Michael Cacciotti a sweeping victory in the general election with the final tally putting him way beyond his challenger to represent District 4.

With all precincts reporting along with provisional and absentee ballots counted, Cacciotti got 1,353 votes, 70.21 percent, while challenger Eric Brady received 574 votes, 29.79 percent, according to the latest figures from the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s Office.

Initially, Cacciotti pulled in 929 votes and Brady had 357.

This is Cacciotti’s fifth term on the council having been elected in 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2013.

Of the 15,620 registered voters for the November general election in South Pasadena, 8,280 exercised their right to vote, about 53.01 percent, which is an unusually high number for a midterm.

Diana Mahmud ran unopposed for District 5 and garnered 1,831 votes, according to the final tally, up from the initial 1,305.

The city was forced to hold the election by districts because of the threat of litigation last year that claimed So Pas was violating the state’s Voting Rights Act.

District 4 had about 2,831 registered voters and District 5 had about 3,527, according to city statistics.

City officials have long held the general boundaries for District 4 are east of Fair Oaks Avenue and north of a large portion of Monterey Road while the boundaries for District 5 are south of a large portion of Monterey Road and east of Huntington Drive.

Brady said in defeat that he was grateful for the opportunity to run for local office and believed many of the issues he raised were now being finally addressed.

Diana Mahmud

“I am gratified by the experience of running for office for the first time, and I want to thank the many South Pasadena residents who I was lucky enough to meet and talk with during the campaign,” Brady said in an earlier interview.  “Also, I want to send a special thanks to my campaign volunteers and many well-wishers for their support throughout the race. It’s hard to run against almost 20 years of incumbency… I’m proud of our efforts. There were so many people who called, emailed and came to meet with me to discuss their concerns – mainly, that South Pasadena City Council wasn’t necessarily addressing some of the issues that really impact residents. I’m also pleased to see that the City Council has lately begun to work on some of the issues we talked about during our campaign – homelessness, more long term planning when it comes to budget issues, and affordable housing. I feel like we made a difference with our campaign, and that was what this was all about.”

Cacciotti, on the other hand, expressed his relief in winning a fifth time, saying there’s much work still yet to be done on behalf of the city.

“I am humbled and grateful to all the residents and volunteers who supported and voted for me in this election,” Cacciotti said. “I always become a better person and public servant each election as I have the pleasure of walking door to door and personally meeting our community and listening to their concerns and ideas. One resident in the Raymond Hill neighborhood I met said that I was the first candidate that visited his apartment building in the 18 years he has lived in the city. I am very excited to continue the hard work with my dedicated colleagues on our City Council and our friends on the School Board in making South Pasadena a safe, sustainable and welcoming community in which to live, work, play, raise a family and/or retire.”

Mahmud was brief in her after-election remarks, saying she was grateful for another term on the council and the defeat of the UUT repeal.

“I am very pleased and excited to return to council to work for the benefit of our residents for another four years. Thank you for this privilege. And, I am so very grateful to our residents for their resounding rejection of the effort to repeal our Utility User Tax. Special thanks to the No on N co-chairs Yuki Cutcheon and Ed Donnelly, and all the many volunteers who distributed lawn signs, made calls, wrote letters to the editor and donated to the campaign.”

City Treasurer Gary Pia and City Clerk Evelyn Zneimer ran unopposed and were re-elected. These positions are more ceremonial.

Steve Whitmore

Steve Whitmore is the editor for the South Pasadena Review. Steve has spent more than four decades as an award-winning print and broadcast journalist with a 16-year stint as the senior media advisor for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Steve comes to us from the Keene Sentinel in Keene, New Hampshire, where he covered politics and was a columnist.

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