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It’s a nail biter — Final ballots in Signal Hill City Council to be counted Thursday

The winners in the Signal Hill City Council election will finally be determined this week. None of the candidates vying for three open seats has publicly declared victory because 262 provisional and vote-by-mail ballots from the March 7 election need to be counted. Those outstanding ballots will be counted 10 a.m. Thursday in council chambers. Photo: City of Signal Hill.

SIGNAL HILL — The waiting is the hardest part.

The winners in the Signal Hill City Council election will finally be determined this week.

None of the candidates vying for three open seats has publicly declared victory because 262 provisional and vote-by-mail ballots from the March 7 election need to be counted. Those outstanding ballots will be counted 10 a.m. Thursday in council chambers. Unofficial results should be posted by early afternoon, Deputy City Clerk Kim Boles says.

The council will certify the results, and the three elected council members will be sworn in during the March 21 council meeting, Boles says.

Nine candidates, including two incumbents, are in the race to represent citizens in this 2.5-square-mile city of 12,000 that’s perched above Long Beach.

This election could have been a historic one for the LGBTQ community because three of the candidates (Tom Benson, Larry Blunden and Keir Jones) identify as gay. If all three candidates win, they would join Councilman Larry Forester, who also is gay, and it would be the first time in the city’s history that the council has four gay members.

However, it look like that outcome will happen. Here are the counted votes from election night:

  • Lori Woods – 491
  • Ed Wilson –   448
  • Robert Copeland – 444
  • Keir Jones – 437
  • Larry Blunden – 307
  • Maria Harris – 274
  • Carol Churchill – 256
  • Tom Benson – 226
  • Jason Aula – 77

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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