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Irvine Mayor Steven Choi Won 75% of Precincts, Including Every Region in the City Except UCI

Posted by Chris Nguyen on December 12, 2012

The New Irvine Council Majority: Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Lalloway, Councilwoman Christina Shea, and Mayor Steven Choi

The New Irvine Council Majority: Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Lalloway, Councilwoman Christina Shea, and Mayor Steven Choi

Last night, Steven Choi was sworn in as the first Republican Mayor of Irvine since 2000.  That last Republican Mayor was Christina Shea, who was sworn in to a new term last night as an Irvine Councilwoman after terming out in 2010.  The man who won Shea’s seat in 2010 was fellow Republican Jeff Lalloway, who became Mayor Pro Tem last night.

With all of that occurring last night, Larry Agran and Beth Krom were placed in the Irvine Council minority for the first time in a dozen years.  That 2000 election that gave the Democrats control of the Irvine Council majority saw Agran elected Mayor unopposed and Krom elected to the Council.  The 2012 election saw Krom re-elected to Council but Agran defeated for Mayor by Choi (though Agran remains on the Council as his term is 2010-2014).

The official results of Choi’s mayoral victory over Agran are as follows:

Steven S. Choi 32,505 45.7%
Larry Agran 28,741 40.4%
Katherine Daigle 9,951 14.0%

When a race is this close, you would expect there would be certain geographic areas in the city where Choi was strong and other areas where Agran was strong.  So let’s take a closer look; of the 127 precincts in the City of Irvine:

  • Choi won 95 (75% of all precincts, or 79% of precincts that cast votes for Mayor).
  • Agran won 24 (19% of all precincts, or 20% of precincts that cast votes for Mayor).
  • They tied in 2 (2% of all precincts and 2% of precincts that cast votes for Mayor).
  • Zero votes were cast for Mayor in 6 precincts (5% of all precincts).

Choi’s victory was quite evenly distributed in the city, with him winning all regions in the city except for the UCI campus precincts.  At UCI, Agran won 56% of the vote.  Choi won everywhere else.

It didn’t matter what districts were used – Choi won everywhere that wasn’t UCI.  He won the Irvine portions of both the 3rd and 5th Supervisorial Districts, both the 68th and 74th Assembly Districts, and both the Rancho Santiago and South Orange County Community College Districts (winning both the RSCCD Trustee Areas that cross Irvine and all three SOCCCD Trustee Areas that cross Irvine).  He won in the Irvine Unified School District and the Irvine portions of Santa Ana Unified and Tustin Unified.  He won in both divisions of the Orange County Water District and both divisions of the Municipal Water District of Orange County that crossed into Irvine.

Unfortunately for Agran, only 49% of registered voters in the UCI precincts turned out while 68% of registered voters in Irvine turned out.

It’s clear that other than UCI, there was no geographic divide in Steven Choi’s mayoral victory over Larry Agran to give Republicans control of the Irvine City Council for the first time in a dozen years.

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