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Less than 0.5%: OC’s Seven Closest Races

Posted by Chris Nguyen on November 7, 2014

While most candidates have figured out whether they’ve won or lost, there’s a handful who are still waiting for provisionals and late absentees to see whether they’ve won or lost.

Orange County’s three biggest City Council races are all ending in nailbiters.

In Anaheim, School Board Member James D. Vanderbilt leads incumbent Gail Eastman by 705 votes (0.5%).  Vanderbilt was backed by Mayor Tom Tait while Eastman was part of the anti-Tait majority.  Should Vanderbilt hang on to his lead, the Council 4-1 supermajority will shrink to a 3-2 majority.

CITY OF ANAHEIM Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 147 of 147
Vote Count Percentage
* KRIS MURRAY 13,231 21.2%
JAMES D. VANDERBILT 12,591 20.2%
* GAIL EASTMAN 12,286 19.7%
JOSE F. MORENO (1) 8,460 13.6%
DOUG PETTIBONE 5,971 9.6%
JERRY O’KEEFE 5,160 8.3%
DONNA MICHELLE ACEVEDO 2,445 3.9%
JOSE MORENO (2) 2,131 3.4%
* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

 

In Costa Mesa, incumbent Jim Righeimer is clinging to a 112-vote lead (0.4%) over Jay Humphrey.  Righeimer is the leader of the 3-2 conservative majority.  Democrat Katrina Foley replaces termed out Councilwoman Wendy Leece as a member of the Council minority with Councilwoman Sandy Genis.  If Humphrey overtakes Righeimer, the Council majority will switch from the conservatives to the liberals.

CITY OF COSTA MESA Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 70 of 70
Vote Count Percentage
KATRINA FOLEY 7,154 26.3%
* JIM RIGHEIMER 5,851 21.5%
JAY HUMPHREY 5,739 21.1%
LEE RAMOS 4,042 14.9%
TONY CAPITELLI 1,454 5.4%
AL MELONE 1,156 4.3%
RITA LOUISE SIMPSON 940 3.5%
CHRISTOPHER SCOTT BUNYAN 826 3.0%
* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

 

In Irvine, what is clear is that the Republicans have maintained their majority, the Council’s longtime Democrat power-broker Larry Agran is gone, and women comprise the majority of the Irvine City Council (Republican Christina Shea, Republican Lynn Schott, and Democrat Beth Krom).  The question now is whether there will be a 3-2 Republican majority or 4-1 Republican supermajority.  This all hinges on whether Republican Councilman Jeff Lalloway can hang on to his 256-vote (0.4%) lead over Democrat Melissa Fox (even Lynn Schott only has a 309-vote lead of 0.5% over Fox).

CITY OF IRVINE Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 109 of 109
Vote Count Percentage
LYNN SCHOTT 12,964 23.0%
* JEFFREY LALLOWAY 12,911 22.9%
MELISSA FOX 12,655 22.5%
* LARRY AGRAN 11,022 19.6%
EVAN CHEMERS 6,792 12.1%
* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

 

In Dana Point, Joe Muller leads Jody Payne by just 39 votes (0.2%).  There are no incumbents because Councilman Bill Brough was elected to the Assembly, Councilwoman Lisa Bartlett was elected to the Board of Supervisors, and Councilman Steve Weinberg retired due to term limits.

CITY OF DANA POINT Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 30 of 30
Vote Count Percentage
JOHN TOMLINSON 2,747 13.4%
RICHARD A. VICZOREK 2,656 13.0%
JOE MULLER 2,570 12.6%
JODY PAYNE 2,531 12.4%
ALAN WICKSTROM 2,524 12.3%
NANCY JENKINS 2,315 11.3%
HAROLD R. KAUFMAN 2,056 10.1%
ROY “RYAN” DIVEL IV 1,649 8.1%
CHUCK RATHBONE 1,397 6.8%
* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

 

In Laguna Woods, Rae C. Tso wields a narrow 23-vote (0.2%) lead over Carol A. Moore.

CITY OF LAGUNA WOODS Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 16 of 16
Vote Count Percentage
* BERT HACK 3,197 25.4%
RAE C. TSO 2,770 22.0%
CAROL A. MOORE 2,747 21.8%
AL RODDAN 1,361 10.8%
MARK L. MONIN 1,284 10.2%
DAVID RUSSELL OHRN 1,236 9.8%
* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

 

In the Santa Ana Unified School District, poor Valerie Amezcua is in another nailbiter.  She was just 536 votes (0.7%) short of winning a seat in 2012.  In 2014, Amezcua is clinging to a 141-vote (0.5%) lead.  I’m sure she prefers the 2014 result over the 2012 result, but clearly, the week after the election is becoming an extra stressful family tradition in the Amezcua household.  (On a sidenote, MIke Dalati, who came in fourth for Auditor-Controller in June, came in 8th out of 8 in his race for Santa Ana Unified School District.  His fiancee is Karina Onofre, the Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Democrat who lost a Santa Ana City Council race as a Republican and the 74th Assembly District, switching parties after she had taken out papers to run for the Assembly as a Republican but filing the Assembly candidacy paperwork as a Democrat.)

SANTA ANA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT Governing Board Member
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 92 of 92
Vote Count Percentage
* JOHN PALACIO 7,193 25.5%
VALERIE AMEZCUA 3,953 14.0%
SHUNTELE ANDREWS 3,812 13.5%
RIGO RODRIGUEZ 3,470 12.3%
ANGIE ROSARIO CANO 3,027 10.7%
CECILIA AGUINAGA 2,444 8.7%
EVERLENA OLIVER 2,189 7.8%
MIKE DALATI 2,121 7.5%
* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

 

In the Fountain Valley School District, Jim Cunneen leads Gary Stine by 107 votes (0.4%).  Assuming his lead holds, Cunneen seems to be a consistent third-place finisher in FVSD, having come in third in 2012, but unfortunately for him, only two seats were up then.  He is breathing a sigh of relief that there are three seats up this time.

FOUNTAIN VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT Governing Board Member
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 31 of 31
Vote Count Percentage
* SANDRA CRANDALL 7,801 31.4%
LISA SCHULTZ 6,478 26.1%
JIM CUNNEEN 5,340 21.5%
GARY STINE 5,233 21.1%
* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

 

Sidenotes (Five races with small, but not quite as close, leads)

In close, but probably done, are races where the lead is more than 0.5% but does not exceed 1.0%.

In Lake Forest, it’s clear that incumbents David Bass and Kathryn McCullough have been defeated.  Drew Hamilton leads Thomas Cagley by 303 votes (0.9%).  Hamilton had been Councilman Dwight Robinson’s first choice to fill the vacancy left by Councilman Peter Herzog’s resignation.  Bass had been Voigts’s first choice.  Jim Gardner who is second place and has won a seat on the Council was Councilman Adam Nick’s first choice.  On Tuesday, Nick was defeated in his legal carpetbagging bid for the 46th Congressional District, a place that does not include Lake Forest.

CITY OF LAKE FOREST Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 54 of 54

* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

Vote Count Percentage
* SCOTT VOIGTS 5,397 16.0%
JIM GARDNER 5,023 14.9%
ANDREW “DREW” HAMILTON 4,837 14.4%
THOMAS CAGLEY 4,534 13.5%
* DAVID A. BASS 4,320 12.8%
LIZ MILLER 3,913 11.6%
* KATHRYN (KATHY) MCCULLOUGH 3,563 10.6%
MIKE HEALEY 2,063 6.1%

 

In a battle of two former Centralia Board Members trying to get back on the Board, Art Montez leads Kevin Sequeira by 98 votes (0.7%).  Shockingly, sitting incumbent Irv Trinkle came in dead last.

Connor Traut, the second coming of Jordan Brandman in every way, came in first.  La Palma Councilman Henry Charoen, who bowed out of the 65th Assembly District race for Young Kim, came in second.

CENTRALIA SCHOOL DISTRICT Governing Board Member
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 36 of 36
Vote Count Percentage
CONNOR TRAUT 4,065 25.4%
HENRY CHAROEN 3,335 20.8%
ART MONTEZ 3,129 19.6%
KEVIN SEQUEIRA 3,031 18.9%
* IRV TRINKLE 2,440 15.3%
* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

 

In the La Habra City School District, Cynthia Aguirre leads Kevin M. Jacobson by 122 votes (1.0%) in a race where voters had to replace 3 sitting incumbents when no incumbent sought re-election.

LA HABRA CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT Governing Board Member
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 31 of 31
Vote Count Percentage
IDA MACMURRAY 2,817 22.1%
OFELIA CORONA HANSON 2,774 21.8%
CYNTHIA AGUIRRE 2,673 21.0%
KEVIN M. JACOBSON 2,551 20.0%
SUZETTE ORNELAS-MEDINA 1,913 15.0%
* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

 

In the Ocean View School District, Joseph A. Gaglione leads incumbent Tracy Pellman by 261 votes (0.6%).  In OVSD, the teacher’s union openly backed Gaglione and Jack C. Souders.  Incumbent Republicans Pellman and John Briscoe accused each other of being the union’s secret third candidate.

OCEAN VIEW SCHOOL DISTRICT Governing Board Member
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 53 of 53
Vote Count Percentage
JACK C. SOUDERS 8,867 22.2%
* JOHN BRISCOE 7,528 18.8%
JOSEPH A. GAGLIONE 6,926 17.3%
* TRACY PELLMAN 6,665 16.7%
NORM WESTWELL 5,482 13.7%
* JOHN R. ORTIZ 4,495 11.2%
* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

 

Finally in the East Orange County Water District, incumbent Director Sy Everett has a 190-vote (0.8%) lead over former Director Douglas M. Chapman in the latter’s comeback bid.  OC Political readers may remember Chapman for his effort to run for two offices simultaneously, by seeking re-election to the East Orange County Water District while also challenging incumbent Denis Bilodeau for the Orange County Water District, which left him with neither office when his dual office-seeking drew former Tustin Mayor Doug Davert into the East Orange County Water District race.  Bilodeau won re-election and Davert unseated Chapman.

EAST ORANGE COUNTY WATER DISTRICT Director
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 56 of 56
Vote Count Percentage
* RICHARD B. BELL 6,518 28.0%
* JOHN T. DULEBOHN 5,718 24.6%
* SEYMOUR “SY” EVERETT 5,610 24.1%
DOUGLAS M. CHAPMAN 5,420 23.3%
* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

 

One Response to “Less than 0.5%: OC’s Seven Closest Races”

  1. Hi Chris,

    In the appointment to replace Peter Herzog, Councilman Nick argued that the person who had the most votes in the 2010 election in which Herzog won his seat should be the person that replaces him. It is the normal practice, although not mandatory nor universal. It turned out that I was that person and on that basis Nick voted for me. It’s correct to say that I was his first choice, but I believe it had more to do with what he considered “the people’s choice.” I was happy either way, but disappointed not to be appointed. There is a lot to do and I would have welcomed the opportunity to have started a year ago. C’est la view. Now the work begins.

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