City Council incumbent Gary Bric cruised to re-election on Tuesday, securing more than 50% of the vote and bypassing the April 12 general election, when candidates Emily Gabel-Luddy and Bob Frutos will face off for Mayor Anja Reinke’s vacated seat.
With all 42 precincts reporting, Bric received 4,642 of 8,072 votes cast in the election, followed by Gabel-Luddy with 3,845 and Frutos with 3,071. Jacqueline Waltman, a state probation official, failed to make the primary cut, with 2,131 votes.
Bric, who took a few minutes to breathe Tuesday afternoon before heading over to a friend’s house to watch the voter returns, said the campaign was exhausting.
“Between owning my own business, being on council and running to stay on it, it’s like having three jobs,” Bric said.
Still, he added, “I know what I was getting myself into, and it’s worth it.”
Voter turnout this year was down, with 8,073 ballots cast compared with 10,990 in the primary two years ago, according to the city clerk’s office. The primary elections in 2007 and 2009 both had voter turnouts of around 20%.
Waltman said she had to work a bit harder to get her name out to voters as a relatively unknown challenger in the field.
“It’s been an uphill battle for me in this campaign because I have little name recognition,” she said. “But it’s been like that for most of us in this election.”
The campaign trail was also a personal test, said Gabel-Luddy, who also serves as chairwoman for the Burbank Planning Board.
“This campaign has really been a self-revealing experience for me,” she said. “I’ve dealt with frustration from those who don’t support me or disagree.”
Gabel-Luddy spent the evening at Gordon Biersch in downtown Burbank celebrating the campaign work done by her friends and supporters.
Frutos said he looked forward to the second half of his campaign.
“I’m feeling great and looking forward to the next election,” he said. “This is all just part of the process.”