Garden Grove’s latest round of election results Tuesday night continued to show early leads for all incumbents seeking reelection to the council:
Mayor Steve Jones, incumbent Councilman John O’Neill for the District 2 City Council seat, incumbent Councilwoman Stephanie Klopfenstein for District 5, and incumbent Councilwoman Kim Nguyen for District 6.
Jones, O’Neill, and Klopfenstein are Republicans. Nguyen is a Democrat. Jones, notably, is beating out his fellow, challenger council colleague and prominent Little Saigon political figure Phat Bui — the second top vote-getter.
Whoever wins these contests will oversee a city with a diverse population and strong working class presence, many Little Saigon businesses and a strip of hotels along Harbor Boulevard near the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim.
These results reflect all early votes cast up to Monday night. It doesn’t include ballots cast in person on Election Day or mail-in ballots that arrived after Monday evening.
Election Day ballots are scheduled to be reported out in updates from county election officials Tuesday, starting at 9 p.m. In California, mail-in ballots can arrive in the days after the election and still count as long as they’re postmarked by Election Day.
The Garden Grove contests come at a time when protests around law enforcement and policing have reached the city’s doorstep, while controversy over some officials’ responses to them have rocked City Hall. On the other hand, residents continue to voice concerns about crime and police resources in the city.
The winners, whoever they are, will have to grapple with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on the city’s economy and its tourism-area hotels, as well as issues of affordable housing and the city’s much-awaited land sale of the Willowick Golf Course, one of the last open green spaces in a working class area that the city legally owns but sits in Santa Ana.
Read more about this race in depth: Nine Candidates Seek Election to the Garden Grove City Council this November.
Brandon Pho is a Voice of OC reporter and corps member at Report for America, a GroundTruth initiative. Contact him at [email protected] or on Twitter @photherecord.