One thing is clear from the latest ballot counting update, and at least one thing is clear: Orange County will have its first Democrat v. Democrat partisan general election contest this November: former county Supervisor/Assemblyman/state Senator Lou Correa v. Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen:
Nguyen, an ultra-progressive and union organizer by trade, dislodged Republican Bob Peterson from the second spot after Monday’s update, and has increased it ever since. Nguyen lead Peterson by 578 votes on Monday; 867 votes on Tuesday; and 1,069 votes yesterday. Since the bulk of the uncounted ballots are ones that were cast late, this trend should continues since late ballots have favored the Garden Grove mayor.
The song remains the same in other close races.
68th Assembly District
Irvine Mayor Steven Choi continues nudging his lead over former Anaheim City Councilman Harry Sidhu a little bit wider every day. A big flip on Monday took him from about 600 votes down to a lead of 32 votes. On Tuesday that increased to 49 votes, and yesterday it grew to 71 votes:
The trend has been with Choi all week, and most (if not all) the Anaheim ballots have been counted. But in this race, one never knows.
1st Supervisor District
Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez’s lead increased from 825 votes to 957 votes.
Most observers consider it unlikely the lead will change hands in this race. Even if it did, it just means both candidates start off at about the same position in the general election march to 50-percent-plus-one. Supervisor Andrew Do will still have the power of incumbency, fundraising ability superior to Martinez’s – and will no longer have to deal with Garden Grove Councilman Phat Bui dividing the Vietnamese vote and dumping huge sums of his own money into a kamikaze candidacy. The next step for Do is to unify the Vietnamese community behind him. That will entail bringing the Janet Nguyen-Andrew Do conflict to an end – a project that party leaders with which party leaders will need to involve themselves. Andrew Do’s re-election is manifestly in the best interests of Orange County Republicans. Any actions by other Republicans to undercut his re-election are de facto contributions to the campaign of liberal Democrat Michele Martinez.
Orange County Board of Education, Area 1
Incumbetn and charter school supporter Robert Hammond is still hanging on to a lead — albeit a shrinking one — over Beckie Gomez, the Democratic candidate of the teachers unions and charter school opponents. Tuesday’s update had him ahead of Gomez by 381 votes. Yesterday’s update reduced that lead to 262 votes – a gain of 119 votes for Gomez:
Hammond can’t afford more losses like that.
What’s Left To Count and Other News
The Choi and Sidhu campaigns had been involved in ballot challenges in their close-run race,. However, after a while challenges from the Sudhu team stopped; the bulk of the ballot challenges have come from a group of Bernie Sanders supporters. According to the ROV, 260 ballots have been challenged to date. Only about half the challenges have been reviewed thus far, and of those only three have been sustained.
5,766 provisional ballots were processed yesterday, and of those 1,619 were disqualified. In total thus far, 2,189 out of the 9,165 provisionals processed have been disqualified – a rate of 23.9%. The ROV expects that rate to change following a second review, but not drastically.
Left to count:
- 385 vote-by-mail ballots returned at the polls.
- 56,250 provisional ballots.
- 2,919 election day paper ballots.
- 928 eligible vote-by-mail ballots received after election day.