This tumultuous year has proven the essential nature of nonpartisan local news. Every day we bring you news critical to staying informed and active in the community. Join us with a tax-deductible donation.
With all precincts reporting, the battles for two Anaheim City Council seats are too close to call.
As of 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, Councilman Jordan Brandman held a 268-vote lead over fellow Democrat and challenger Jose Moreno for the District 3 seat. In District 1, Denise Barnes leads Steve Chavez Lodge by 108 votes.
Meanwhile, in District 4 and 5, two Disney-backed candidates won handily.
In District 4, Councilwoman Lucille Kring bested her challenger, Arturo Ferreras, 45.4 percent to 28.5 percent. And Steve Faessel took the District 5 seat with 44 percent of votes. Mark Lopez finished second in that race with 34.4 percent of the vote.
Those results do not include any vote-by-mail ballots received after Election Day and uncounted provisional ballots. The Orange County Registrar of Voters expects to have a final tally of votes by Saturday evening.
Brandman, reached by phone shortly after the last results of the evening were posted, said he was cautiously optimistic that he would hold onto his lead.
“I want to congratulate my competitors on a very well-fought race. It was a thoughtful discussion of the issues that matter to all the residents,” said Brandman. “And I feel privileged that the voters have returned me to the City Council for another term.”
Earlier in the evening, Moreno told a crowd of supporters that regardless of the election’s outcome, it brought to light the influence of Disney and other major business interests in city politics.
“I’m glad that our city finally got to see the raw politics and power of corporations…and the distinction between Disneyland the park, and the corporation,” Moreno said..
Unless mail-in and provisional ballots allow Moreno to pull ahead, Disney-backed candidates will still hold a majority — four seats — on the newly expanded, seven-member City Council.
The Registrar of Voters will continue to update the vote tallies each day at 5 p.m. until all ballots are counted.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Anaheim has never had a Latino council member.
Contact Thy Vo at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @thyanhvo.