OC Political

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

OC’s Close Contests: 97.4% of Ballots Counted, Diedre Nguyen Surpasses Diep, Contreras Gains, Dunlap Passes Shawver, Measure N Fails

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 12, 2020

Just 2.6% of OC ballots remain to be counted

After counting 56,601 ballots yesterday, the Orange County Registrar of Voters reports 20,048 ballots remain while 763,026 have been counted, which means 97.4% of OC’s 783,074 ballots have already been counted (OC voter turnout in the 2020 primary appears to have settled at 47.9%).

As OC Political noted Thursday, the Secretary of State defines “Close Contests” as those races where there is a margin of 2% or less, so we are tracking Orange County’s close contests where there is a margin of 2% or less.

Because Central Committee races are exhausting to analyze and write about (and presumably exhausting to read about), only races where a new person has captured sixth place (since the top six are elected in each district) are covered below.  So instead of Republican Central Committee for five districts and Democratic Central Committee for seven districts, only one Central Committee race is below: 65th District for the Republican Central Committee.

72nd Assembly District

In the 72nd Assembly District race for the second slot to reach the top two against former Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Fountain Valley), Councilwoman Diedre Nguyen (D-Garden Grove) overtook incumbent Tyler Diep (R-Westminster), and she now leads him 208 votes (0.20%).

The all-Republican general election race in AD-72 between Janet Nguyen and Diep now becomes an all-Nguyen general election race in AD-72 between Janet Nguyen and Diedre Nguyen.  Diep now has the indignity of joining AD-73’s Assemblyman Bill Brough (R-Dana Point) as the only incumbent legislators in the state to lose their re-election bids in the primary.

Before Diedre Nguyen finally surpassed Diep in the latest count, Diep had seen his lead over Diedre Nguyen continually shrink, having previously been 17 votes (0.02%), 291 votes (0.29%), 309 votes (0.31%), 1,050 votes (1.19%), 1,286 votes (1.54%), and 1,975 votes (2.56%).

Candidate Name Total Votes Percentage
37,070 34.14%
27,432 25.27%
27,224 25.07%
16,847 15.52%


1st Supervisorial District

In the 1st Supervisorial District race for the second slot to reach the runoff against incumbent Andrew Do (R-Westminster), Councilman Sergio Contreras (D-Westminster) continued growing his lead over Mayor Miguel Pulido (D-Santa Ana), which has now reached 1,674 votes (1.84%).

While there has been one post-Election Night count with Pulido gaining, Contreras has gained in most of those daily counts. In the prior counts, Contreras’s leads over Pulido were 1,386 votes (1.70%), 1,293 votes (1.63%), 1,207 votes (1.59%), 865 votes (1.22%), 968 votes (1.47%), and 514 votes (0.82%).

Candidate Name Total Votes Percentage
38,762 42.51%
20,249 22.21%
18,575 20.37%
13,597 14.91%


Tustin Unified School District Measure N

Tustin Unified School District’s Measure N continued to steadily inch up ever so slightly to 53.40% (1.6% short of 55%), but it is virtually impossible for it to reach the 55% required to pass a local school bond.  In the prior two counts, it was 53.15% (1.85% short of 55%) and 53.01% (1.99% short of 55%).

So far, 22,541 voters have cast votes on Measure N.  Assuming the 97.4% of ballots counted is uniform across the County (which certainly isn’t the case, but it’s the only number available and is better than no estimate, and doesn’t account for undervotes or overvotes), that would leave only 602 ballots for Measure N.  Even getting 100% of those ballots would leave Measure N at 54.61% in favor of the bond.  Even Vladimir Putin refuses to take 100% of the vote in his elections.

The voters of Tustin Unified School District School Facilities Improvement District 2020-1 comprise just 2.88% of Orange County’s registered voters.  For Measure N to pass, it needs 100% of an additional 804 ballots (4.01% of uncounted OC ballots), 72.10% of an additional 2,000 ballots (9.98% of OC’s uncounted ballots), and 64.05% of an additional 4,000 ballots (a whopping 19.95% of OC’s uncounted ballots).

In the preposterous scenario of all 20,048 uncounted ballots in Orange County being in the Tustin Unified School District School Facilities Improvement District 2020-1, Measure N would still need 56.8% of those ballots to reach the required 55% to pass.

With the failure of Measure N, that means all nine school bonds in Orange County from the 2020 primary election have been defeated.  Although the vast majority of school bonds are typically approved in any given election, Orange County was no outlier this year, as a majority of the local school bonds in California were defeated by the voters in the 2020 primary election.  Indeed, even Proposition 13 on the 2020 primary election ballot was defeated, the first statewide school bond to be defeated in 26 years (and 1994 was the year of the Republican Revolution), with the Yes on 13 campaign tweeting, “Based on current vote totals, it appears Proposition 13 will fall short of the required 50% threshold.”  (While local school bonds require a 55% vote to pass, statewide school bonds require only a simple majority of 50%.)

Bond Vote Total Votes Percentage
12,036 53.40%
10,505 46.60%


Republican Central Committee, 65th District

In the race for the sixth and final slot on the Republican Central Committee for the 65th District, Businessman Nick Dunlap (R-Fullerton) overtook Mayor David Shawver (R-Stanton) in the most recent count and is now ahead of the incumbent Central Committee member by 54 votes (0.05%).

In the first post-election night count (i.e. Wednesday, March 4), Shawver led Dunlap by 355 votes (0.45%).  Shawver’s lead continued to shrink with subsequent counts until Dunlap surpassed him in the latest count.

However, when the directly-elected members of the Central Committee are seated in January 2021, the 65th District will have two vacancies because Cynthia Thacker (R-Buena Park) and James Waters (R-Anaheim) will be seated as ex officio members of the Central Committee next month (April 2020), as Thacker is the Republican nominee for Assembly against incumbent Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) and Waters is the Republican nominee for Congress against incumbent Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana).  Considering how active a member of Central Committee Shawver has been, it is expected that Shawver will be appointed to fill one of the vacancies in January.

Candidate Name Total Votes Percentage
15,015 13.59%
14,151 12.81%
11,521 10.43%
11,519 10.43%
11,061 10.01%
10,954 9.91%
10,900 9.86%
10,655 9.64%
10,000 9.05%
4,718 4.27%


(Cue my usual Nguyen disclaimer: The two 72nd Assembly District candidates, former Senator Janet Nguyen and Garden Grove Councilwoman Diedre Nguyen, are not related to each other, and neither of them are related to me. The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: