Three incumbents reelected

Bucking national trend, Laguna Beach returns three currently sitting council members to their seats.

November 04, 2010|By Barbara Diamond,
  • Laguna couclilwoman Elizabeth Pearson, in yellow, gathers with fellow Orange County elected officials for a group photo during the Election Day Luncheon at the Hilton Costa Mesa.
Laguna couclilwoman Elizabeth Pearson, in yellow, gathers… (DON LEACH, Daily…)

Laguna Beach voters returned three incumbents to the City Council in an election year that reverberated nationally with the public's disenchantment with the status quo.

With 26 of Laguna's 26 precincts reported, Kelly Boyd, Elizabeth Pearson and Toni Iseman were reelected for four more years. Results will not be official until the Orange County Registrar of Voters certifies the election, no later than 28 days after the election, with no changes expected.

"My feeling is that people just wanted to keep things the way they were," said Boyd, the top vote-getter with 5,283 votes, or 30.5% of the uncertified count.

Pearson came in second with 4,888 votes, 28.2%.

"The economy was a key factor in the election and I feel good about what the council has done to help our businesses," Pearson said. "And there were no partisan attacks by local political action committees. I think people appreciated that the election was not contentious."


Iseman was reelected with 25.3% of the votes cast for an unprecedented fourth term in Laguna Beach, not to mention the regional and national climate that did not favor incumbents.

"The thing is there was not a person I worked with or met who did not say she was [the council member] who made a difference," said Eileen Algaze, Iseman campaign volunteer. "That's why I volunteered even though I recently moved from Laguna after 20 years."

South Laguna businessman and Chamber of Commerce board member Michael Kinsman called the election at 8:04 p.m., but the tally from the registrar's office lagged behind, frustrating candidates and their supporters. Iseman was still on her computer at 1 a.m., as was Pearson, as results trickled in.

"The absentee ballots mailed in before election day are counted first," said Councilwoman Verna Rollinger, who was City Clerk in the days when Laguna held separate elections.

Rollinger said the results were made public more quickly then.

Now all the precincts load their votes on to a truck that goes to the registrar's office and doesn't leave town until all precincts are in.

"We end up in the back of the line behind cities closer to Santa Ana, and it is the middle of the night before our votes are counted," Rollinger said.

Republican incumbents and supporters whiled away the night at the Marine Room. Democrats Rollinger, Iseman and Jane Egly stopped by early in the evening in a show of unity for fellow council members before joining Iseman supporters to wait for results.

Coastline Pilot Articles Coastline Pilot Articles