By James Fujita
Councilman Mark E. Henderson holds a strong lead to win a second term on the Gardena City Council.
As of Friday, March 6, teacher Paulette C. Francis was in second place in the council election.
If the election numbers do not change, Francis will join Henderson on the city council.
Henderson received 2,698 votes or 20.79 percent of the total, according to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/ County Clerk’s office. The incumbent Henderson was more than 500 votes ahead of the rest of the field at press time.
On March 4, Henderson thanked the community; family, friends and supporters; and God for giving him “the opportunity to continue to do good work in the community.”
“Thank you to the community for putting their faith and trust in me, because it is the community that matters,” he said.
Francis received 2,120 votes, or 16.34 percent, as of Friday, March 6. She had been in third place behind businessman Roy Kim.
“Regardless of the outcome, I will still plan to fight to improve senior services and economic development,” Francis stated in a text on March 6.
Kim dropped to third place in the updated election numbers. Kim had 1,915 votes or 14.76 percent.
“I had a great time,” Kim said on March 6. “It was a life-changing experience, I met some good friends and supporters and I gained more confidence in myself. This was a way to get myself stronger. It wasn’t easy, but it made me stronger.”
Wanda Love was in fourth, with 1,638 (12.62 percent), followed by Rachel C. Johnson with 1,627 (12.54 percent). Ben Tarzynski had 1,413 (10.89 percent).
“It was an honor to run for city council,” Tarzynski stated in an email. “I am proud that we ran an honest campaign, focusing on my qualifications and commitment to public service.”
Gina Lopez Alexander had 1,193 (9.19 percent) and Ochuwa Oghie got 373 votes (2.87 percent).
In an email on March 6, Mike Sanchez of the Registrar-Recorder County Clerk’s office said that they were still counting outstanding ballots.
Gardena’s election was held on same day as California’s “Super Tuesday” presidential primary, March 3. There were two seats up for election in Gardena. Councilman Dan Medina was term limited out of office, leaving one seat open for somebody to fill.
In regional elections, 62nd District Assemblywoman Autumn R. Burke, daughter of Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, was far ahead of her opponent, Republican Robert A. Steele. Burke, a Democrat, had 54,855 votes (83.66 percent) to Steele’s 10,715 (16.34 percent) on March 6. The 62nd District includes the north part of Gardena.
In the 66th Assembly District, Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi was also winning. The Democrat had 56,546 votes (64.30 percent), while Republican Arthur C. Schaper had 31,391 (35.70 percent). The 66th District includes the southern part of Gardena.
In the 33rd State Senate District, Senator Steven Craig Bradford had a strong lead over Anthony Perry, an American Independent Party candidate. Bradford had 73,394 votes (74.94 percent), and Perry had 24,547 (25.06 percent) on March 6. There was no Republican candidate.
Bradford is a former Gardena City Councilman. All of Gardena is included within the district.
In the 43rd Congressional District, Representative Maxine Waters faced two Republicans, Omar Navarro and Joe E. Collins III. As of March 6, Waters had 67,804 (76.97 percent), Navarro had 10,153 (11.53 percent) and Collins had 10,132 (11.50 percent).