Republicans and Democrats Move to Finalize Wins, OC Remains Purple As of Latest Election Results

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

A screen shows election workers inspecting ballots Nov. 6, 2020.

Republicans on Tuesday celebrated the flipping of one key Congressional seat with a public concession by Democrat Harley Rouda to Michelle Steel

A second seat appears ready to go, with Republican challenger Young Kim leading incumbent Democrat Gil Cisneros, as of the latest election results reported at 5 p.m. Tuesday by the Orange County Registrar of Voters. 

Democrats’ luck fared better at the state-level, on track to flip two state Senate seats and maintain a majority of Assembly seats. 

The latest results come from just short of 13,000 new election ballots counted, rounding out a nearly 86% historic voter turnout this year and further indicating the region’s purple trend as both parties are looking at their own losses and wins across local races this year. 

Republicans are also comfortably ahead to maintain a central county Supervisor’s seat, staving off Democrats’ challenge to flip a district with a voter registration tilting Blue and spanning stretches of nonwhite communities. 

Congress

Republicans have taken back one of the four Congressional seats lost to the Democrats in 2018 and are on track to potentially take one more. 

OC Supervisor Michelle Steel beat Democratic freshman Rep. Harley Rouda in the 48th Congressional after starting off Election Night down, and then finishing the night with a slight lead. 

From there, Steel increased her lead until Rouda conceded Tuesday. 

In 2018, Rouda unseated longtime GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher. 

As of Tuesday, Kim maintained a roughly 4,200-vote lead over Democratic Rep. Gil Cisneros in a rematch from their 2018 showdown.

In 2018, Kim started ahead of Cisneros, until he slowly closed the gap and eventually beat her in later rounds of ballot tallies in the days after Election Day.  

Meanwhile, Democrats managed to keep at least one seat and are on track to keep another. 

Rep. Katie Porter defeated Republican Mission Viejo City Councilman Greg Raths after he  conceded last Wednesday. 

And Rep. Mike Levin looks on track to beat San Juan Capistrano City Councilman Brian Maryott, a Republican.

State

In the closely-watched local races for state Legislature, Democrats remain ahead in efforts to flip two seats in OC held by Republicans John Moorlach and Ling Ling Chang. Democrat Josh Newman has been leading against Chang in the 29th Senate District and Democrat Dave Min has been ahead of Moorlach in the 27th Senate District.

Republican state Assemblyman Steven Choi held his lead ahead of Democrat Melissa Fox on Thursday, and appeared on track to hold on to his seat.

Democrat Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris held a narrow lead for her 74th District seat against Republican Newport Beach Councilwoman Diane Dixon, with Dixon slightly narrowing the gap in the Monday results update.

In the western 72nd Assembly District, Republican Janet Nguyen held on to hear substantial lead above Democrat Diedre Nguyen for the seat, which is currently held by Republican Tyler Diep.

County

In the competitive 1st District county supervisor race, incumbent Republican Andrew Do is maintaining a sizable 3 percentage point lead over his Democrat challenger Sergio Contreras.

If it holds, Republicans would hold on to their 4-to-1 majority on the Board of Supervisors. 

Cities

In Anaheim, Orange County’s biggest city by population, Disney-backed candidates continued to lead in all three of the City Council seats up for election, with Avelino Valencia, Steve Faessel and Jose Diaz in the lead. 

One candidate who opposes resort-area subsidies, incumbent Councilwoman Denise Barnes, was ahead earlier on election night but has been trailing Diaz in the later rounds of results.

In Santa Ana, where voters picked a new mayor in the first open race for the seat in 26 years, Councilman Vicente Sarmiento continued to hold a wide lead with 33%, and Claudia Alvarez trailing in second place with 22%.

Thai Viet Phan, Jessie Lopez and Johnathan Hernandez continued to hold wide leads for Santa Ana City Council seats in the latest results.

In Irvine, Councilwoman Farrah Khan defeated incumbent mayor Christina Shea in the showdown for the city’s top elected position on election night, with Khan receiving 48% to Shea’s 36% in the latest results and Shea conceding in a phone call to Khan earlier this week.

For City Council, where the top three vote-getters win seats, Tammy Kim is the only candidate maintaining a steady lead ensuring she will be on the council. Councilman Mike Carroll moved from fourth to second place in Saturday’s update and has maintained his lead, leaving Larry Agran in third place for a two-year-term seat (due to Khan becoming mayor) and pushing Lauren Johnson-Norris out of the top contenders. 

The city’s largest developer, The Irvine Co., was the dominant spender in the city’s election, pumping at least $315,000 into groups supporting Shea, Carroll and John Park, and opposing Agran and Kim, but Carroll is the only developer backed candidate set to pick up a seat. 

Election results on Tuesday for the city of Orange are continuing to show 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.

Newport Beach candidates Brad Avery and Noah Blom in district two and five were still leading the polls on Tuesday. In District 7, current Mayor Will O’Neill ran unopposed. 

In Costa Mesa, Democrats Katrina Foley, Loren Gameros and Jeffrey Harlan are leading their respective races with significant margins over their opponents. Some but not all of the other candidates have already reached out to Foley, Gameros and Harlan to concede.

In District 1, candidate Don Harper who was endorsed by the Republican Party of Orange County is continuing to hold on to a lead with incumbent John Stephens following behind.


Live election results below thanks to a partnership with the Reynolds Journalism Institute. CLICK HERE to view live results for every Orange County race.