This story has been updated with the latest election results.
Republican Don Wagner had the lead in the first round of results in Tuesday’s primary election for 3rd District county supervisor, a position that represents the cities of Irvine, Tustin, Orange, Yorba Linda, and part of Anaheim.
In the update at 12:30 a.m., Wagner had 54.4 percent of ballots reported so far, with Ashleigh Aitken following at 45.6 percent.
Unlike the 1st District supervisor race, the 3rd District race won’t proceed to a runoff election in November because only two candidates are running.
These initial results show only mail-in and dropped-off ballots through Monday evening, the night before the election, as well as all ballots cast in person at vote centers until Friday evening.
Updates later tonight will include Election Day ballots, though at the end of election night there will remain an unknown number of mail-in ballots left to count.
The full set of ballots in the race likely will not be counted until Friday, the last day mail-in ballots can arrive at the county elections office and still be counted.
The winner will help decide how the county spends $7 billion every year on law enforcement, homelessness, social services and health care.
With two supervisor seats up for grabs, Republicans are working to hang onto their 4-1 majority on the Board of Supervisors. Two Republican incumbents are facing Democratic challengers in tight races amid OC’s voter registration shifting in favor of Democrats in recent years.
For information on the 1st District race, click here.
Wagner, the current supervisor and former Irvine mayor, won his seat during a special election last year and campaigned on improvements in addressing homelessness, fire prevention and sober living home regulations.
Aitken, a former federal prosecutor and current member of the Orange County Fairgrounds board, ran on a campaign that new ideas are needed to take homeless people off the streets because the county hasn’t created enough new housing. Her father is Voice of OC’s board chairman, Wylie Aitken.
While the district remains Republican, Democrat voter registration has increased over the last several years, narrowing the Republicans’ advantage to just under 1%.
The race drew hundreds of thousands of campaign dollars on both sides. Wagner received more than $493,000 from the OC sheriff’s deputies’ union in ads supporting his campaign, far outpacing any other donors.
Aitken received over $200,000 from individual donors and labor unions, and was supported by $30,000 in advertising services from consultant John Shallman that were listed as a non-monetary donation to an independent expenditure committee that advocated for her.
Updates are scheduled to go out every half hour from 9:30 until late Tuesday night according to the OC Registrar’s office.
Noah Biesiada is a Voice of OC Reporting Fellow. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @NBiesiada.