This is cross-posted to OC Daily.
Yesterday was a crazy day in vote counting saw that saw lead changes in four different races. It was definitely a good day for mayors, with Bao Nguyen (Garden Grove), Steven Choi (Irvine), and Mike Munzing (Aliso Viejo) each climbing into the last available spot in their races. Additionally, Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez took first place in her race. These races largely remain too close to call with an 87,000 ballots still uncounted countywide.
After Friday’s counts, Sheriff’s Commander Bob Peterson (R) was leading Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen (D) by 236 votes for the second spot to advance to the run-off in the 46th Congressional District against former State Senator Lou Correa (D). After yesterday’s counts, Nguyen surged forward by 814 votes and now leads Peterson by 578 votes for the right to challenge Correa’s march to Congress.
On Friday, former Anaheim Councilman Harry Sidhu (R) was leading Irvine Mayor Steven Choi (R) by 608 votes for the second spot to advance to the run-off (and victory in the general election) in the 68th Assembly District against Attorney Sean Jay Panahi (D). After yesterday’s results, Choi swung 640 votes and now leads Sidhu by 32 votes for the run-off slot. With results this close, both campaigns are gearing up with attorneys and ballot watch teams.
Friday’s results showed Supervisor Andrew Do (R) with an 836-vote lead over Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez (D) in his bid for a full four-year term after winning last year’s special election for a two-year term. With a massive 1,689-vote swing, Martinez now leads Do by 853 votes. Who finishes first is mostly about perception by donors, parties, volunteers, etc., as Do and Martinez will face each other in the November run-off regardless of which is first or second, as Garden Grove Councilman Phat Bui (R) is a distant third.
Finally, in the forgotten close race for Republican Central Committee in the 73rd District, Friday’s numbers had Small Business Owner Roberta Turbow ahead of Aliso Viejo Mayor Mike Munzing by 234 votes for the sixth and final spot on the Central Committee from AD-73. A 343-vote swing now has Munzing leading Turbow by 109 votes.
With 87,000 uncounted ballots left in Orange County, there’s still a whole lot of counting left and a whole lot of nail-biting.
(Cue my usual Nguyen disclaimer: I am not related to Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen. The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)