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Howard, Bowne Win Easily in Burbank City Council Election

February 26, 1987|GREG BRAXTON | Times Staff Writer

Burbank City Council members Mary Lou Howard and Robert R. Bowne handily won reelection Tuesday.

Howard, 49, and Bowne, 42, both received more than 50% of votes cast in the city's primary election, turning aside six challengers for their seats on the five-member council.

The race for three school board seats proved to be a closer contest, sending six of the eight candidates into an April runoff.

"I'm just delighted that the people support what I do and want to see my viewpoint expressed during the next four years," said Bowne, an attorney who was appointed to the council 2 1/2 years ago. "I felt confident I would do well."

Howard, who will be starting her third term, seemed relieved.

"I'm pleased it's all over in the primary and we don't have to go through the expense of a runoff," she said. "But I am disappointed in the number of people that turned out. I guess it was because there were no real issues."

Low Voter Turnout

Fewer than one quarter of the registered voters went to the polls, election officials said.

Michael McDonald, 28, a center for the Los Angeles Rams and a political novice, finished third.

"I think I did a good job and I've shown that I will be a force to be reckoned with in the future," McDonald said. "If I were to do it all over again, I would try to raise more money."

Finishing behind McDonald were: Margie A. Gee, 51, a former Burbank Airport commissioner; Marji Brannan, 35, a communications consultant; Jules Kimmett, 65, a janitor; Lud Grande, 62, a tax preparer, and Edwin LaRocque, 35, a computer clerk.

In the school board race, incumbent William S. Abbey failed to receive 50% of the vote against seven challengers. The top three vote-getters in the runoff will win seats on the board.

In the runoff besides Abbey are Tomme J. Lenz, 54, a community volunteer; Walton L. Ragan, 61, a school administrator; Charles A. Goldwasser, 36, a lawyer; Marilyn Houston Paggi, 37, a parent, and Dwain F. Bender, 45, a management executive.

City Atty. Douglas C. Holland said Paggi will be included in the runoff even though she announced several weeks ago that she was no longer a candidate. Holland said she withdrew too late for her name to be removed from the ballot.

With Howard and Bowne heavy favorites to retain their seats in the council race, several challengers last week began blasting the incumbents.

Brannan criticized Bowne, alleging that he is insensitive to the desires of residents on development and other community issues.

Howard was also targeted by her opponents for accepting several $1,000 contributions from developers with projects that are now being considered or soon will come before the City Council.

Towncenter Was Issue

Both incumbents were also blamed, at least in part, for the failure of the proposed Towncenter shopping mall to come to fruition. The project collapsed last year after one of the four anchor department stores dropped out.

But none of the challengers had been considered a strong threat to overcome Howard and Bowne. At candidate forums, both incumbents repeatedly touted their experience and expertise in dealing with local issues.

In the school board race, Abbey was the only incumbent running. Board President Claud Field and board member Shirley Nelson, whose terms also are expiring, did not seek reelection.

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