A high-stakes contest is now in its final hours for a job that will impact Orange County’s handling of everything from homelessness to mental health services to the pandemic.
After months of all-out get-out-the-vote efforts by both major parties, today is the last day of voting to replace Michelle Steel as the Orange County supervisor for the coastal 2nd District.
Below is a rundown of our stories on the race, with links for more info.
The race is pitting three Republican current and former elected officials (John Moorlach, Kevin Muldoon and Michael Vo) against one Democrat elected official (Katrina Foley) and one attorney who’s registered to vote as Democrat (Janet Rappaport).
That’s prompted worries within the GOP that Republican voters will be split and end up handing the election to Foley, who’s endorsed by the county Democratic Party.
Former county supervisor John Moorlach is endorsed by the county GOP, while Republicans Muldoon and Vo have name recognition in their respective cities of Newport Beach and Fountain Valley.
At stake in the election is whether Republicans can maintain their 4-1 supermajority on the board, or if Democrats can craft a more competitive 3-2 dynamic on the dais.
The election outcome will have a big impact on the board’s debates this year around the once-in-a-decade process of redrawing the maps that decide which voters are in each supervisor’s district. Supervisors have a mid-December deadline to approve the final maps.
[Click here for information on how to cast a ballot if you’re legally registered to vote in the 2nd District.]
Voice of OC will be covering the election results as they roll in tonight, with the first tallies expected at 8:05 p.m.
Here’s our latest coverage of the race:
A Voice of OC review of spending in the coastal 2nd District race shows spending is dominated by union-funded ads against John Moorlach, the Republican Party-endorsed candidate.
For the first time in recent memory, Orange County sheriff deputies are trying to block the Republican-endorsed candidate from winning an OC supervisor race.
And they’re spending big. Bigger than anyone else. (Full story.)
Endorsements are key tools for candidates to fundraise and show which community leaders trust them.
Voice of OC asked each candidate for the top endorsements they’d like to highlight. Here’s what they provided. (Full story.)
A major split emerged among Orange County’s top Republican leaders over who should win a hotly contested, coastal county supervisors’ seat.
A majority of Republicans on the county Board of Supervisors broke with their county party and endorsed Muldoon, despite GOP efforts to coalesce around Moorlach, the party-endorsed candidate.
In back-to-back announcements, Muldoon was endorsed by supervisors Don Wagner and Andrew Do.
Do also endorsed Vo for the seat, the mayor said in a campaign announcement. (Full story.)
Just as the filing deadline for candidates closed, local GOP leaders went on the attack against two Republican candidates in the race, calling them selfish and ego-driven.
That, in turn, prompted public pushback from the two Republican challengers, who said the party rushed its endorsement and shut them out of the process. (Full story.)
Nick Gerda covers county government for Voice of OC. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.