Round Two

Robinson and Tornek to square off in mayoral runoff; Hampton and Wells will fight again for District 1

By Andre Coleman and Justin Chapman, Pasadena Weekly, 3/12/2015

Races for mayor and the City Council’s District 1 seat will be decided in a runoff election on April 21.

In Tuesday’s election, none of the six candidates for mayor captured 50 percent plus one vote of the ballots cast to win outright. The same was true for District 1, with five candidates in that contest.

However, three Pasadena Board of Education seats were decided, with Roy Boulghourjian winning District 2, Patrick Cahalan winning District 4 and Lawrence Torres taking the school board’s District 6 seat, according to unofficial results for all five elections.

In the mayor’s race, Council members Jacque Robinson and Terry Tornek will square off in six weeks to replace Pasadena’s first elected mayor in modern times, Bill Bogaard, who announced in September that he would not seek a fifth term. Tornek took 37.1 percent, or 4,814 of the votes cast. Robinson came in 883 votes behind, with 3,931, or 30.3 percent.

“We never thought we could win outright,” Tornek said Tuesday night at City Hall, where votes were being tabulated throughout the evening. “With six slices of the pie, it’s just not happening.”

“We ran a great campaign,” Robinson said. “I feel good about my chances and I am ready to go. The race is not over yet.”

In the mayor’s race, newcomer Don Morgan finished third with 14.4 percent, or 1,873, votes. Former Mayor Bill Thomson received 1,708 votes, or 13.1 percent, Allen Shay finished with 557 votes, or 4.4 percent, and Jason Hardin took 64 votes, or 0.4 percent.

Although the terms of three other council members were up this year, incumbents Margaret McAustin of District 2, Gene Masuda of District 4 and Steve Madison of District 6 ran unopposed and were re-elected.

Because two council members were running for mayor, neither Bogaard nor other council members endorsed a candidate leading up to the election.

However, Madison let his feelings for Tornek be known in a mass email sent out Tuesday morning in which he supported Thomson.

Terry Tornek would be a poor choice for mayor,” wrote Madison, who has been at odds with Tornek on a number of issues since the two men have served together on the council. “His arrogant, autocratic style has marginalized him on the council; and to be an effective mayor it is even more essential that one listen to others, forge solutions, and be a consensus builder.” 

In the District 1 election, former Pasadena Fire Chief Calvin Wells and Board of Education member Tyron Hampton will meet again in the runoff. Robinson, who previously represented council District 1, was forced to give up her council seat to run for mayor. Tornek still has two years remaining in his term as the council’s District 7 representative.

In the District 1 race, Hampton took 46.1 percent, or 879 votes. Wells garnered 24.1 percent, or 459 votes. Candidates Brian Biery captured 276 votes (14.5 percent), Pixie Boyden took 233 votes (12.2 percent), and German Acevedo received 56 votes (2.9 percent).

Wells told the Weekly on Wednesday morning that some of his supporters said they did not get mail in ballots. “As I was walking something that came up is some people said they did not get their mail-in ballots,” Wells said. “I anticipated the votes being spread around with five people in the race. I am grateful to have an opportunity to continue. I have to work to close the gap, now what we can focus on a two-man race.

In elections for the school board, Boulghourjian captured 1,568 votes (67.9 percent). In District 4, Cahalan defeated Sheryl Turner 814-660, with Cahalan capturing 55.2 percent of the vote. And in District 6, Torres defeated Sandra Siraganian with 1,566 votes, or 57.5 percent.

Justin Chapman contributed to this report.