by Tim Tevault
As the city council election polls closed Tuesday evening, the results that came in were familiar to the citizens of La Verne. The two incumbents, Tom Harvey and Dan Harden, had been re-elected into the city council, with Jon Blickenstaff (who ran uncontested) as mayor.
Harden came out on top, with 2,079 votes, followed by Harvey, with a distant 1,531. Luke Vinci, the youngest candidate at age 22, was just edged out with a total of 1,478 votes.
“I’m relieved about winning,” said Harvey of his narrow win over Vinci. With a difference of just 53 votes, this close race was a surprise to Harvey. “I was a little bit stunned,” he said.
Although the incumbents won, their results only totaled 47 percent of the votes, while the challengers totaled 53 percent. Vinci saw this as a key positive element in the end.
“It is a testament that the community is ready for change,” he said. “I’ll be back to do it again.”
Harden, who got the most total votes, is excited. “I worked very hard,” he said. “I put the effort in to be successful.”
Harvey is excited about working with familiar faces once again. “I figured 17 years would be the end,” he said of his city council career.
Because Harvey and Harden won again, they will be working along side Blickenstaff and other city council members Patrick Gatti and Robert Rodriguez, who all go up for re-election in 2003.