OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

OC’s Close Contests

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 5, 2020

Fortunately, Orange County doesn’t have Florida’s chad problem from the 2000 presidential election

After counting 21,461 ballots yesterday (and with more ballots arriving from the Post Office), the Orange County Registrar of Voters reports 166,107 ballots remain while 509,160 have been counted, which means 75.4% of OC’s ballots have already been counted (though a small number of additional ballots could arrive from the Post Office that were postmarked by March 3).

The Secretary of State defines “Close Contests” as those races where there is a margin of 2% or less, so below are Orange County’s close contests where there is a margin of 2% or less.  The close contests were stories #2 and 4 on OC Political’s list of “OC’s Top Ten 2020 Primary Election Stories” and a whole bunch of Central Committee races.

37th Senate District

In the battle to reach the top two to face off against Senator John Moorlach (R), UCI Law Professor Dave Min (D-Irvine) is leading Mayor Katrina Foley (D-Costa Mesa) by 1.36%, which is 2,333 votes.  The California Democratic Party endorsed Min who came in third for the 45th Congressional District in the 2018 primary, when fellow UCI Law Professor Katie Porter (D) came in second behind then-Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R), and Porter would defeat Walters in the general election.  Foley is the first directly-elected Mayor of the district’s third-largest city, holding elected office there for the past 16 years as City Councilwoman, School Board Member, City Councilwoman again, and Mayor.
Candidate Name Total Votes Percentage
85,598 49.74%
D) 44,405 25.81%
42,072 24.45%

1st Supervisorial District

In the race to make the run-off against Supervisor Andrew Do (R-Westminster), Councilman Sergio Contreras (D-Westminster) leads Mayor Miguel Pulido (D-Santa Ana) by 0.82%, which is 514 votes.  The Democratic Party of Orange County endorsed Contreras while Pulido is the Mayor of the district’s largest city, having held the office for the past 26 years.
Candidate Name Total Votes Percentage
27,971 44.74%
12,874 20.59%
12,360 19.77%
9,315 14.90%

Republican Central Committee, 65th District

Mayor David Shawver (R-Stanton) is holding on to the sixth and final spot for Republican Central Committee from the 65th District with 3 people behind him by less than 2%.  In his re-election to the Central Committee, Shawver leads Businessman Nick Dunlap (R-Fullerton) by 0.45% which is 355 votes, incumbent Steve Sarkis (R-Stanton) by 0.48% which is 382 votes, and Businessman DeWayne Allen Normand (R-Stanton) by 1.28% which is 1,009 votes.

Of note, top vote-getter Cynthia Thacker (R-Buena Park) will vacate this directly-elected Central Committee seat because she has won an ex-officio seat on the Central Committee by virtue of becoming the Republican nominee for the 65th Assembly District against incumbent Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton).  Similarly, fifth place James Waters (R-Anaheim) will vacate this directly-elected Central Committee seat because she has won an ex-officio seat on the Central Committee by virtue of becoming the Republican nominee for the 46th Congressional District against incumbent Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana).

Candidate Name Total Votes Percentage
10,690 13.51%
10,198 12.89%
8,308 10.50%
8,271 10.45%
8,114 10.26%
7,942 10.04%
7,587 9.59%
7,560 9.56%
6,933 8.76%
3,510 4.44%

Republican Central Committee, 68th District

Prosecutor Ray Gennawey (R-Irvine), son of Councilwoman Elaine Gennawey (R-Laguna Niguel), is in the sixth and final Central Committee seat from the 68th District, leading incumbent Central Committee Member and former Councilwoman Deborah Pauly (R-Villa Park) by 0.08%, which is 162 votes. Gennawy is also leading Councilman Scott Voigts (R-Lake Forest) by 0.76% which is 1,012 votes, and Businessman John Park (R-Irvine) by 1.13% which is 1,491 votes.

Candidate Name Total Votes Percentage
20,559 15.61%
15,525 11.79%
12,007 9.12%
10,797 8.20%
10,390 7.89%
9,975 7.57%
9,813 7.45%
8,963 6.81%
8,484 6.44%
7,217 5.48%
6,486 4.92%
4,651 3.53%
4,473 3.40%
2,359 1.79%

Republican Central Committee, 69th District

Candidate Name Total Votes Percentage
4,255 14.54%
3,732 12.75%
3,731 12.75%
3,592 12.27%
3,272 11.18%
3,267 11.16%
2,846 9.72%
2,516 8.60%
2,056 7.02%

Republican Central Committee, 72nd District

Candidate Name Total Votes Percentage
16,829 14.74%
12,206 10.69%
11,841 10.37%
11,148 9.76%
10,845 9.50%
9,770 8.55%
9,355 8.19%
7,130 6.24%
5,861 5.13%
5,511 4.83%
4,823 4.22%
4,516 3.95%
4,368 3.82%

Republican Central Committee, 74th District

In the 74th District’s race for the last spot for Central Committee, Retired Navy Nurse Emily Sanford (R-Huntington Beach) leads former Councilman Scott Peotter (R-Newport Beach) by 0.86% which is 1,159 votes and Councilman Mike Posey (R-Huntington Beach) by 1.65% which is 2,233 votes.

Of note, the top vote-getter, Councilwoman Diane Dixon (R-Newport Beach), will vacate this directly-elected Central Committee seat because she has won an ex-officio seat on the Central Committee by virtue of becoming the Republican nominee for the 74th Assembly District against incumbent Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach).

Candidate Name Total Votes Percentage
19,576 14.46%
17,254 12.74%
13,278 9.81%
12,167 8.99%
11,753 8.68%
10,135 7.49%
8,976 6.63%
7,902 5.84%
6,336 4.68%
5,943 4.39%
5,836 4.31%
4,072 3.01%
3,787 2.80%
3,736 2.76%
2,969 2.19%
1,683 1.24%

Democratic Central Committee, 55th District

Businesswoman Gail Cain (D-Brea) leads Democratic Party of Orange County Vice-Chair North Jeffrey LeTourneau (D-Brea) for the last Democratic Central Committee spot from the 55th District by 0.33%, which is 128 votes.

Candidate Name Total Votes Percentage
6,926 17.82%
6,562 16.89%
5,281 13.59%
4,773 12.28%
4,734 12.18%
3,894 10.02%
3,766 9.69%
2,926 7.53%

Democratic Central Committee, 65th District

In the 65th District, Democratic Party of Orange County Chair Ada Briceño (D-Stanton) is hanging on to her Central Committee seat, leading Nonprofit Director/Accountant Bruce W. Johnson (D-Buena Park) by 1.59%, which is 1,406 votes.
Candidate Name Total Votes Percentage
10,645 12.05%
10,355 11.73%
9,322 10.56%
8,696 9.85%
7,889 8.93%
7,213 8.17%
5,807 6.58%
5,230 5.92%
5,206 5.90%
4,787 5.42%
4,779 5.41%
4,565 5.17%
3,813 4.32%

Democratic Central Committee, 68th District

A whopping eight candidates for the Democratic Central Committee are within 2% of Retired Physician Bill Honigman (D-North Tustin) for the last spot from the 68th District.  The closest of the eight is Attorney Nathaniel Fernandez Epstein (D-Lake Forest), who trails Honigman by just 0.01%, which is 18 votes.  Epstein finished in last place in the race for Orange County Assessor in 2018.  Another of the 8 candidates is Democratic Party of Orange County Vice-Chair Central Betty Valencia (D-Orange), currently sitting in tenth place.

Of note, top vote-getter Councilwoman Melissa Fox (D-Irvine) will vacate this directly-elected Central Committee seat because she has won an ex-officio seat on the Central Committee by virtue of becoming the Republican nominee for the 68th Assembly District against incumbent Steven Choi (R-Irvine).

Candidate Name Total Votes Percentage
14,646 15.06%
9,006 9.26%
7,608 7.82%
7,271 7.48%
6,790 6.98%
5,420 5.57%
5,402 5.56%
5,086 5.23%
5,057 5.20%
4,927 5.07%
4,875 5.01%
4,616 4.75%
4,405 4.53%
3,672 3.78%
2,864 2.95%
1,978 2.03%
1,858 1.91%
1,752 1.80%

Democratic Central Committee, 69th District

Four candidates are within 2% of Ariana Arestegui (D-Garden Grove) for the sixth and final spot on the Democratic Central Committee from the 69th District.  The closest is Manny Escamilla (D-Santa Ana), who trails Arestegui by 0.01%, which is 5 votes.
Candidate Name Total Votes Percentage
8,229 11.88%
8,117 11.72%
7,490 10.81%
6,329 9.14%
5,272 7.61%
5,137 7.42%
5,132 7.41%
4,888 7.06%
4,221 6.09%
4,055 5.85%
3,645 5.26%
3,417 4.93%
3,344 4.83%

Democratic Central Committee, 72nd District

In the race for the 72nd District’s last seat on the Democratic Central Committee, Democratic Party of Orange County Vice-Chair West Victor Valladares (D-Huntington Beach) is leading Libby Frolichman (D-Fountain Valley) by 1.35%, which is 1,239 votes, and Sergio Escobar (D-Santa Ana) by 1.49%, which is 1,366 votes.

Candidate Name Total Votes Percentage
11,197 12.19%
10,897 11.87%
9,164 9.98%
8,677 9.45%
8,232 8.97%
8,108 8.83%
6,869 7.48%
6,742 7.34%
6,089 6.63%
5,792 6.31%
5,079 5.53%
4,971 5.41%

Democratic Central Committee, 73rd District

Candidate Name Total Votes Percentage
12,882 13.88%
11,257 12.13%
11,173 12.04%
10,638 11.46%
10,383 11.19%
9,161 9.87%
8,230 8.87%
5,968 6.43%
5,437 5.86%
5,403 5.82%
2,256 2.43%

Democratic Central Committee, 74th District

Five candidates are within 2% of College Professor Samila Amanyraoufpoor (D-Irvine) for the final seat on the Democratic Central Committee from the 74th District.  The closest of the five is incumbent Janice Burstin (D-Laguna Woods), who trails by 0.07%, which is 83 votes.

Candidate Name Total Votes Percentage
10,619 8.78%
9,460 7.82%
9,407 7.77%
9,236 7.63%
9,138 7.55%
8,918 7.37%
8,835 7.30%
8,073 6.67%
7,812 6.46%
7,152 5.91%
6,702 5.54%
5,977 4.94%
5,495 4.54%
4,305 3.56%
4,175 3.45%
3,353 2.77%
2,356 1.95%

Other Notes

If you’re wondering why the 47th Congressional District isn’t a close contest, it’s because while it’s close between John Briscoe (R-Huntington Beach) and Amy Phan West (R-Westminster) in the OC part of the district, Briscoe is crushing West in the LA County part of the district to win a spot in the top two for the 47th Congressional District, where he will face off against incumbent Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach).

No ballot measure fits the 2% close contest definition.  While the Anaheim Union High School District’s Measure B is at 51.72% and the Rancho Santiago Community College District’s Measure L is at 51.41%, those are bond measures, so they are actually more than 3% short of the 55% vote required to pass a local school bond.  (Update: Inadvertently, OC Political omitted the closest bond in the County, Tustin Unified School District’s Measure N, which is at 52.87%, which is 2.13% short of the 55% vote required to pass a local school bond.)

7 Responses to “OC’s Close Contests”

  1. […] Close Contests ocpolitical.com/2020/03/05/ocs… https://t.co/jbDT98GRQv […]

  2. […] OC Political noted Thursday, the Secretary of State defines “Close Contests” as those races where there is a margin of 2% […]

  3. […] OC Political noted Thursday, the Secretary of State defines “Close Contests” as those races where there is a margin of 2% […]

  4. […] OC Political noted Thursday, the Secretary of State defines “Close Contests” as those races where there is a margin of 2% […]

  5. […] OC Political noted Thursday, the Secretary of State defines “Close Contests” as those races where there is a margin of 2% […]

  6. […] OC Political noted Thursday, the Secretary of State defines “Close Contests” as those races where there is a margin of 2% […]

  7. […] OC Political noted Thursday, the Secretary of State defines “Close Contests” as those races where there is a margin of 2% […]

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