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[Update, 5:45 p.m.] SMMUSD Board of Education member Oscar de la Torre declared victory in the Santa Monica City Council race on Friday evening, Nov. 6. Though there were still votes to be counted, de la Torre was 600 votes ahead of his closest competitor, Terry O’Day. “We know the later votes will continue the trend,” de la Torre’s team wrote in an email statement. De la Torre was running for one of four spots, in a field of 21 candidates.  

De la Torre’s city council race win is significant not only because he is the first Mexican American from Santa Monica’s Pico neighborhood to be elected to city council in Santa Monica (according to de la Torre's email), but also because his win leaves a vacancy on the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Board of Education, on which de la Torre served for 18 years. Though three spots on the board are currently under contention in the board’s own election (currently led by incumbents Jon Kean and Maria Leon-Vazquez and newcomer Jennifer Smith), de la Torre’s is not one of them. His spot will be filled by an appointee selected by the SMMUSD board later this year, after the final election results are certified.

[Update, 5 p.m. Friday] Bruce Lee Silverstein (with 2,179 votes), Steve Uhring (with 2,094 votes) and Paul Grisanti (with 2,082 votes) continued to lead the Malibu city council race, as the three have done since polls closed.

The race has remained remarkably close, though the ranking of candidates did not change. Current fourth-place vote-getter Doug Stewart (with 1,938 votes) is only 241 votes away from current leader Silverstein. According to the county registrar, there are still more votes to be counted—as of latest estimates, more than half a million ballots countywide were yet to be counted, mostly from vote-by-mail ballots collected on Election Day or postmarked on or before Election Day and received later.

The top three vote-getters will win seats on city council. 


[Update, 3:30 p.m. Friday] Incumbent LA County District Attorney Jackie Lacey conceded to challenger George Gascón around midday, Friday, Nov. 6. Though not all votes in the race had been counted yet, Lacey would have had to win more than two thirds of the remaining tally to win re-election. 

The county registrar had not released more results for the Malibu city council race as of 3:30 p.m. on Friday. Bruce Lee Silverstein continued to hold the number one spot, with 2,107 votes. He was followed by Steve Uhring (with 2,015 votes) and Paul Grisanti (with 2,007 votes). Three of the eight candidates in this race will win seats on city council.

In the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education Race, there were no new vote tallies released either. Jon Kean, Maria Leon-Vazquez and Jennifer Smith maintained their leads on the rest of the candidates. 

Measure T, a hotel tax which would boost the city's budget by thousands of dollars, looked as if it would pass, with 3,057 "yes" votes against 2,280 "no" votes.


[Update, 10 p.m. Thursday] With 2,107 votes, Bruce Lee Silverstein continued to lead the Malibu city council race—a lead he's held since polls closed and results started rolling in Tuesday evening at 8 p.m. Steve Uhring remained in second place (with 2,015 votes) and Paul Grisanti in third (with 2,007 votes). 

Doug Stewart followed in fourth place. Mark Wetton was next, in fifth; he surpassed Andy Lyon, who is now in sixth. Incumbent Rick Mullen remained in seventh and Lance Simmens in eighth. 

Jon Kean (with 21,084 votes), Maria Leon-Vazquez (with 19,829 votes) and Jennifer Smith (with 18,958 votes) continued to lead the race to fill three seats on the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education.

Measure T—a hotel tax increase—still carried a commanding lead with 57% of voters casting "yes" votes. 


[Update, 5 p.m. Wednesday] With 2,071 votes, Malibu City Council candidate Bruce Lee Silverstein maintained the lead he held since the polls closed on Tuesday, Nov. 3, at 8 p.m. Steve Uhring remained in second place (with 1,980 votes) and Paul Grisanti in third (with 1,969 votes). 

The five other candidates also remained in the same standing they were in on Election Night: Doug Stewart in fourth place, Andy Lyon in fifth, Mark Wetton in sixth, Rick Mullen in seventh and Lance Simmens in eighth. 

In the school board race, Jon Kean (with 20,366 votes), Maria Leon-Vazquez (with 19,202 votes) and Jennifer Smith (with 18,366 votes) continued to lead to fill three seats on the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education.

Measure T—a hotel tax increase—still carried a commanding lead with 57% of voters casting "yes" votes. 


 [Update, 8:00 a.m. Wednesday] Vote totals changed only slightly since 1:30 a.m. last night. Bruce Lee Silverstein (with 1,979 votes) kept his first place lead and Steve Uhring (with 1,890 votes) kept his second place spot. Paul Grisanti remained in third, capturing one more vote, bringing him to 1,888.

Andy Lyon also captured one more vote since 1:30 a.m., bringing him to 1,675 votes. He remains in fifth.

Rick Mullen got one more vote, as well, bringing him to 1,291 votes. He remains in seventh. 

All other city council candidates experienced no change in vote totals.

The top three vote-getters in the SMMUSD school board race as of 1:30 a.m. last night all held onto their leads, too Jon Kean (with 19,455 votes), Maria Leon-Vazquez (with 18,392 votes) and Jennifer Smith (with 17,554 votes) continued to lead the pack at 8 a.m.

Measure T, which would increase transient occupancy tax, still looked as if it would pass. By 8 a.m., it had 2,877 yes votes versus 2,144 no votes.


[Update, 3:40 a.m. Wednesday] 

Read the latest Malibu Times update here.


[Update, 1:30 a.m. Wednesday] By 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, the same three council candidates—Bruce Lee Silverstein, Steve Uhring and Paul Grisanti—maintained the lead they established as of first vote count at 8:30 p.m. on election night.

The latest results:

  1. Bruce Lee Silverstein (1,979)
  2. Steve Uhring (1,890)
  3. Paul Grisanti (1,887)
  4. Doug Stewart (1,747)
  5. Andy Lyon (1,674)
  6. Mark Wetton (1,666)
  7. Rick Mullen (1,290)
  8. Lance Simmens (846)

[Update, 12:29 a.m. Wednesday] As votes continued to trickle in on the Wednesday morning after Election Day, Malibu City Council candidates Bruce Lee Silverstein (with 1,943 votes), Paul Grisanti (with 1,854 votes) and Steve Uhring (with 1,845 votes) continued to maintain their leads over the other five candidates vying for three council seats, including incumbent Rick Mullen, who remained in seventh place. Close behind Uhring remained Doug Stewart, who had thus far tallied 1,712 votes in the 2020 Malibu City Council election race. 

Other local races remained steady as more ballots were counted, including Measure T, to increase Malibu's transient occupancy tax (earning 57.79 percent of votes as of 12:29 a.m.), and the three leaders in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District race: Jon Kean, Maria Leon-Vazquez and Jennifer Smith. 


[Updated 11:30 p.m.] Council candidates Bruce Lee Silverstein (with 1,900 votes), Paul Grisanti (with 1,819 votes) and Steve Uhring (with 1,804 votes) maintained their leads as the clock neared midnight on election night, though Doug Stewart (with 1,675 votes) inched closer to Uhring's third place spot, closing their gap to only 129 votes.

The top three vote-getters will earn spots on the five-person council. Terming out this election are council members Skylar Peak and Jefferson "Zuma Jay" Wagner, while incumbent Rick Mullen looks to defend the third spot.

Mullen is currently in seventh place, with 1,239 votes. In the 2016 election, he was the top vote-getter overall, bringing in 3,888 votes. No current candidate has even reached half that number as of 11:30 p.m., and it's likely Malibuites won't know for sure who the final winners are even by the early hours of Wednesday morning. 

Totals as of 11:30 p.m.:

  1. Bruce Lee Silverstein (1,900)
  2. Paul Grisanti (1,819)
  3. Steve Uhring (1,804)
  4. Doug Stewart (1,675)
  5. Mark Wetton (1,617)
  6. Andy Lyon (1,577)
  7. Rick Mullen (1,239)
  8. Lance Simmens (825)

In the race to fill three seats on the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education, incumbents Jon Kean (with 19,212 votes) and Maria Leon-Vazquez (with 18,156 votes), plus newcomer Jennifer Smith (with 17,231 votes) held onto their leads, too, edging out the five others that made up the rest of the pack.

Kean is the current school board president; he has been on the school board for four years. Leon-Vazquez is seeking her sixth term on the school board—a move that has drawn the ire of fellow board member and Malibu's only representative on the board, Craig Foster, who wrote in an op-ed published in The Malibu Times that "[Leon-Vazquez should not be elected for a sixth term. Twenty years is more than enough, especially for Malibu voters, given her reflexively anti-Malibu bias."

Representative Ted W. Lieu (with 205,924 votes) continued to fend off challenger James P. Bradley (with 87,064 votes), making the gap between them 118,860 votes. 

Elected in 2015, Lieu represents much of Los Angeles’ South Bay and Westside, including Malibu. Arnold G. York, publisher of The Malibu Times, described Lieu as “a major player in the House of Representatives,” where he sits on the House Committees on Foreign Affairs and Judiciary. 

Votes for State Senator Henry Stern also continued to roll in. At 11:30 p.m., he had 144,360 votes compared to his challenger Houman Salem's 71,731.

Measure T looked as if it would pass, with 2,794 Malibuites voting yes on it as compared to 1,999 voting no.


[Updated 9:30 p.m.] According to the LA County Registrar/County Clerk's Office, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education race was led by incumbents Jon Kean (with 18,948 votes) and Maria Leon-Vazquez (with 17,822), with Jennifer Smith trailing close behind in third with 16,888 votes. This year, there are eight candidates running for three spots on the school board, though none are Malibuites. Malibu's one seat is held by Craig Foster, who is not up for re-election.

Incumbent Democrat Ted W. Lieu led his race for U.S. Representative of the 33rd District with 204,460 votes to Republican challenger James P. Bradley’s 85,562. Lieu has represented the South Bay and Westside of Los Angeles County since 2015. He sits on the House Committees on Foreign Affairs and Judiciary.

Incumbent State Senator for the 27th District Henry Stern also led his race, with 142,908 votes to challenger Houman Salem's 69,987.

As of 9:26 p.m., a total of 2,899,394 ballot results had been reported countywide. For context, in the 2016 election, there were a total of 3,544,115 ballots cast in LA County.

As of 8:37 p.m. on Monday night, Nov. 2, there was a 55.6 percent voter turnout according to the LA County Registrar/County Clerk, before the final day of voting. The registrar called them "big numbers on election eve" in a tweet. 

All votes reported as of 9:30 p.m. had come from two sources: vote-by-mail ballots and vote centers that had been open 10 days before the election. As of this time, no votes cast on Election Day have been reported, the registrar's office said.


 [Updated 9:00 p.m.] Bruce Lee Silverstein continued to lead the race with 1,848 votes, followed by Steve Uhring with 1,753 and Paul Grisanti with 1,747.


As of first reporting of votes at 8:23 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3, Bruce Lee Silverstein (with 1,386 votes), Paul Grisanti (with 1,358 votes) and Steve Uhring (with 1,321 votes) were ahead in the 2020 Malibu City Council race. All numbers reported came from vote-by-mail ballots.

At 8:23 p.m., the LA County Registrar/County Clerk's Office released the first wave of results from vote-by-mail ballots, accounting for 2,359,634 voters across the county.

Silverstein, Grisanti, Uhring and their five other counterparts are running to fill three open spots on the council, two of which will be vacated by terming-out council members Skylar Peak and Jefferson "Zuma Jay" Wagner; the third spot currently belongs to Rick Mullen, who is up for re-election and had, as of 8:23 p.m., earned 965 votes, placing him in seventh place out of eight total candidates.

Totals as of 8:23 p.m.:

  1. Bruce Lee Silverstein (1,386)
  2. Paul Grisanti (1,358)
  3. Steve Uhring (1,321)
  4. Doug Stewart (1,277)
  5. Mark Wetton (1,202)
  6. Andy Lyon (1,067)
  7. Rick Mullen (965)
  8. Lance Simmens (677)

Measure T, which would increase transient occupancy tax to 15%, is ahead, coming in with 62.69% of votes so far. It needs a majority (50% plus one) to pass. Commonly known as a "bed tax" or TOT, transient occupancy tax is tied to tourism-related businesses such as hotels, campgrounds and short-term rentals. 

Former Vice President Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump in California, according to the Associated Press, which called the state as soon as polls closed at 8 p.m. PST. Results have not yet been certified by the state, which is not expected to happen until later in November.

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