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Initial election results for the city of Orange are showing leads for Mark Murphy for mayor and Arianna Barrios, Jon Dumitru, Mike Alvarez, and Ana Gutierrez for City Council seats, while a measure to allow a controversial home development was trailing.
Results, released at 12:31 a.m. showed:
- Measure AA, which would authorize 128 homes on an old quarry site in the city’s east end, behind with about 37% voting yes and about 63% voting no.
- Murphy for mayor, with about 59% of the vote to Adrienne Gladson’s 41%
- Barrios leading in District 1 with around 41% of the vote, followed by David Vazquez with around 25%
- Dumitru leading in District 2 with 42% percent of the vote, followed by Martin Varona with about 23%
- Alvarez leading in District 3 with 51% of the vote, followed by John Russo with about 26% percent
- Gutierrez leading in District 5 with about 52% of the vote, followed by Rick Ledesma with about 48%
This first round of results reflects all early votes received by election officials up until Monday evening. It does not 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 tonight, 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.
Orange voters were electing their City Council members by district for the first time, while also deciding the fate of a controversial development proposal that became a key dividing line among candidates.
The project, which its developer calls The Trails of Santiago Creek, is opposed by many residents who say the development would worsen traffic congestion and raise the risk of back-ups in the event of a wildfire evacuation.
Supporters say it will create more open space than developed land, provide much-needed housing, and that the developer has dedicated millions of dollars to city coffers by committing to additional traffic lanes in nearby streets, among other mitigation measures.
The developer, Milan Capital Management, donated $700,000 to the campaign for Measure AA, as well as $29,000 to the Republican Party of Orange County. The party endorsed Mark Murphy for mayor, as well as council candidates David Vazquez, Jon Dumitru, Mike Alvarez and Rick Ledesma.
The Democratic Party of Orange County endorsed Gladson for mayor, as well as council candidates Eugene Fields, Martin Varona and Danett Abbott-Wicker.
Candidates that publicly supported Measure AA were Murphy, Vazquez and Alvarez.
Candidates that publicly opposed the measure were Gladson; Barrios and Fields in District 1; Varona and Daniel Correa in District 2; John Russo in District 3; and Ana Gutierrez in District 5.
Nick Gerda covers county government for Voice of OC. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.