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OC’s Closest Races: Still Too Close to Call

Posted by Chris Nguyen on November 15, 2012

There are seven races in Orange County where less than 0.5% separates two candidates for the last spot in office. Countywide, there are 73,719 ballots remaining to be counted (9,371 absentee ballots, 64,217 provisional ballots, and 131 Election Day paper ballots).  In all seven of these races, fewer than 500 votes separate the last winner and the first runner-up.  These range from the 442-vote margin for the Santa Ana Unified School Board to the 4-vote margin (yes, just four votes) for Fullerton City Council.

In the Santa Ana Unified School Board race, incumbent Jose Alfredo Hernandez (D) is hanging on to a 442-vote (0.5%) lead over challenger Valerie Amezcua (D).  In an unusual situation for Santa Ana, two Democrats are fighting for the third place spot and the board’s last seat while Republicans occupy the top two slots, with challenger Ceci Iglesias ahead of incumbent Rob Richardson.

SANTA ANA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT Governing Board Member
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 89 of 89
Vote Count Percentage
CECILIA “CECI” IGLESIAS 17,814 21.6%
ROB RICHARDSON 17,465 21.2%
JOSE ALFREDO HERNANDEZ 14,640 17.8%
VALERIE AMEZCUA 14,198 17.3%
MYRIAM TINAJERO 12,836 15.6%
ROBERT ALLEN 5,330 6.5%

 

In the Mission Viejo City Council race, Councilwoman Cathy Schlicht (R) is clinging on to a 270-vote (0.4%) lead over challenger Wendy Bucknum (R).  Bucknum ran on a slate with Councilman Frank Ury (R) while Schlict ran on a slate with Ed Sachs (R).  If Schlicht hangs on, the voters will have split the baby by picking the incumbent from each slate leaving the status quo in place with a Council majority of Trish Kelley (R), Dave Leckness (R), and Ury versus a Council minority of Rhonda Reardon (R) and Schlicht.  If Bucknum overtakes Schlicht, then the Council majority will grow to 4 members.

CITY OF MISSION VIEJO Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 71 of 71
Vote Count Percentage
FRANK URY 18,051 27.4%
CATHY SCHLICHT 15,247 23.1%
WENDY BUCKNUM 14,977 22.7%
ED SACHS 9,642 14.6%
RICHARD W. COLEMAN 4,521 6.9%
DESI J. KISS 3,532 5.4%

 

In the Westminster City Council race, challenger Diana Carey (D) has seen her lead over incumbent Councilman Tyler Diep (R) dwindle to 200 votes (0.4%).  In 2008, Diep was behind Penny Loomer (D) by 1,500 votes on Election Night and ended up winning the election by edging out Loomer by 49 votes.  On Election Night 2012, Diep was behind Carey by 709 votes.  Can Diep pull off the late surge again?

CITY OF WESTMINSTER Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 57 of 57
Vote Count Percentage
SERGIO CONTRERAS 11,039 25.9%
DIANA CAREY 8,471 19.8%
TYLER DIEP 8,271 19.4%
CHARLIE NGUYEN MANH CHI 7,254 17.0%
HELENA RUTKOWSKI 2,792 6.5%
KHAI DAO 2,477 5.8%
AL P. KRIPPNER 2,372 5.6%

 

In the Huntington Beach City Council race, former Councilman Dave Sullivan (R) wields a 264-vote (0.1%) lead over Barbara Delgleize (R).  Regardless of whether Sullivan or Delgleize wins, the conservative majority has already been reduced to a minority with the election of Jill Hardy (D) and Jim Katapodis (R).

CITY OF HUNTINGTON BEACH Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 158 of 158
Vote Count Percentage
JILL HARDY 26,161 14.1%
JIM KATAPODIS 23,875 12.9%
DAVE SULLIVAN 23,470 12.6%
BARBARA DELGLEIZE 23,206 12.5%
DEVIN DWYER 18,609 10.0%
ERIK PETERSON 17,203 9.3%
WILLIAM BILLY O’CONNELL 16,405 8.8%
TIM RYAN 13,616 7.3%
ALEXANDER S. POLSKY 7,603 4.1%
BRUCE J. BRANDT 6,600 3.6%
TONY JAMES CARTER 5,407 2.9%
BOB WENTZEL 3,456 1.9%

 

In the Costa Mesa City Council race, Councilman Gary Monahan (R) has a 131-vote (0.1%) lead over challenger John Stephens (D).  At stake is the conservative Council majority, with Jim Righeimer (R), Steve Mensinger (R), and Monahan.  If Monahan holds on, the 4-1 Council majority will shrink to 3-2, as former Councilwoman Sandy Genis (R) captured the seat of termed-out conservative Councilman Eric Bever (R).  If Stephens overtakes Monahan, the conservative Council majority will become the minority.

CITY OF COSTA MESA Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 71 of 71
Vote Count Percentage
SANDRA L. “SANDY” GENIS 15,732 17.9%
STEVE MENSINGER 13,998 15.9%
GARY MONAHAN 13,743 15.6%
JOHN STEPHENS 13,612 15.5%
COLIN MCCARTHY 13,254 15.1%
HAROLD WEITZBERG 11,561 13.2%
AL MELONE 3,591 4.1%
JAMES RADER 2,411 2.7%

 

In the Yorba Linda City Council race, challenger Gene Hernandez (R) has a 114-vote (0.1%) lead over incumbent Councilwoman Nancy Rikel (R).  At stake is the Council majority.  If Rikel can overtake Hernandez, the YLRRR majority of Mark Schwing (R), John Anderson (R), and Rikel will maintain control of the Council.  If Hernandez hangs on, the majority of Tom Lindsey (R), Craig Young (R), and Hernandez would push YLRRR into the minority, with Schwing and Anderson.

CITY OF YORBA LINDA Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 47 of 47
Vote Count Percentage
MARK SCHWING 14,709 18.8%
CRAIG YOUNG 14,156 18.1%
EUGENE J. “GENE” HERNANDEZ 13,246 16.9%
NANCY RIKEL 13,132 16.8%
KENNITH L. PETERSON 9,400 12.0%
TODD P. COOPER 7,211 9.2%
LOUIS LEE KNAPPENBERGER JR. 6,440 8.2%

 

In the Fullerton City Council race, former Councilwoman Jan Flory (D) has a 4-vote lead over incumbent Councilman Travis Kiger (R). If Flory wins, the Fullerton City Council will have two liberal Democrats (Doug Chaffee and Flory), two libertarian-leaning conservative Republicans (Bruce Whitaker and Greg Sebourn), and one more traditional conservative Republican (Jennifer Fitzgerald).  If Kiger can overtake Flory’s 4-vote lead, he would cement the results of the June recall and maintain Orange County’s most libertarian council.

CITY OF FULLERTON Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 88 of 88
Vote Count Percentage
BRUCE WHITAKER 15,269 13.9%
JENNIFER FITZGERALD 14,957 13.6%
JAN M. FLORY 12,670 11.6%
TRAVIS KIGER 12,666 11.6%
RICK ALVAREZ 11,200 10.2%
JANE RANDS 8,769 8.0%
KITTY JARAMILLO 7,457 6.8%
BARRY LEVINSON 7,274 6.6%
DON BANKHEAD 7,229 6.6%
BRIAN BARTHOLOMEW 6,218 5.7%
MATTHEW HAKIM 4,149 3.8%
ROBERTA REID 1,778 1.6%

 

One Response to “OC’s Closest Races: Still Too Close to Call”

  1. Vern said

    Useful stuff, but in Costa Mesa I wouldn’t use the word “conservative” to describe Riggy’s possibly vanishing majority, to distinguish it from a possible Genis-Leece-Stephens majority. Sandy Genis and Wendy Leeces are plenty conservative. Maybe … I’m trying to think of something acceptably objective .. “hardline anti-labor majority?”

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