By Ted AYALA
Paula Devine’s electoral victory onto the Glendale City Council last month was certified by the Los Angeles County Registrar/Recorder on Tuesday, clearing the way for her formal swearing-in ceremony next Tuesday.
Though the chances for an upset were slim, the runner-up for the open council seat, Vartan Gharapetian, declined to concede defeat last month. On his campaign’s Facebook page, Gharapetian urged his supporters to “not give [their] hopes up.”
“There are still a lot of provisional ballots [to] be counted by June 30,” he said.
Gharapetian also announced in the same message that however the results turned out, he was prepared to run for council again in 10 months.
But in the end, the momentum for Devine proved to be unstoppable. While her final percentage of votes – 33% – was generally the same as that of the morning after the election, their number had grown from 5,111 to 6,614.
Gharapetian posted similar gains, with a slight margin separating him from the next runner-up, Rick Barnes.
Northern Glendale proved to be decisive for Devine, where she managed a full sweep of all precincts in Montrose, Sparr Heights and La Crescenta.
Barnes, who was the third runner-up overall, finished in second place in the region.
Tuesday, July 8 will also see longtime Councilmember Frank Quintero step down from that dais for the last time. Quintero declined to run in the 2013 election, expressing then that he wished to retire from public office. But when former Councilmember Rafi Manoukian stepped down to take over the position of treasurer, his seat was left vacant.
Debate as to how to best fill that seat briefly stirred council, with Councilmember Ara J. Najarian suggesting former mayor Sheldon Baker as a possible appointment to the seat in a caretaker role. Suggestions were also voiced to appoint Chahe Keuroghelian, who had finished third in the 2013 election, to the vacant seat.
Ultimately, council followed the advice of then-Mayor Dave Weaver to call back Quintero to fill in the seat until the special election could be held last month.
Quintero declined to run again in 2014.