The first round of election results are out for the city of Irvine, showing Farrah Khan leading in the race for mayor, along with Tammy Kim and Larry Agran leading in a packed race for two City Council seats.
The results show incumbent Mayor Christina Shea trailing by double digits behind Khan for the mayoral race, a stiff competition between Democrats and Republicans that could see the city’s first Democrat mayor since 2010.
In a call with Voice of OC, Shea said she had already called Khan and congratulated her on the race and offered to help in any way with the transition, with no current plans to immediately seek office again.
“It was a big loss for Republicans in Irvine. The Democrats were very successful, they ran good campaigns and I just want to make sure that whatever support she needs to move into her new position I can help her,” Shea said.
Kim and Agran are currently in the lead, with city commissioner Lauren Johnson Norris in third place. Should Khan win her race for mayor, the third place council candidate will pick up the two remaining years on her council term.
“We’re really excited about the results. It’s a real testament to the changing demographics of Irvine, and I’m really excited to see that,” Kim said in a call with Voice of OC.
These preliminary results represent over two thirds of Orange County voters.
Both races faced a series of scandals in the final days leading up to election, with former mayor Larry Agran making another run for office, Councilman Mike Carroll spending over $70,000 in taxpayer funds on mailers without oversight and accusations that Khan accepted a gift from the Republic of Azerbaijan in violation of election law.
The City Council race has also been a stiff competition, with each party backing three candidates apiece and an additional eight candidates throwing their hat in the ring.
No matter what, at least one newcomer will be joining the panel as Councilwoman Melissa Fox chose not to run for her seat in Irvine and focus on a campaign against Steven Choi in the California Assembly.
The Democrats endorsed Agran, and city commissioners Tammy Kim and Lauren Johnson-Norris, while Republicans backed businessman John Park, Carroll and 2018 council runner-up Carrie O’Malley.
Noah Biesiada is a Voice of OC Reporting Fellow. Contact him at [email protected] or on Twitter @NBiesiada.