Election night results showed Democratic Party-endorsed candidate Michele Bell with a sizable lead ahead in the only judgeship on OC ballots this election.

Election results as of 11 p.m. had Bell ahead 57% to 43% against Republican Party-endorsed Peggy Huang to become an Orange County Superior Court judge.

The results will be updated later this evening, and again at 5 p.m. each day starting Wednesday.

Judges are among the most powerful officials in Orange County, tasked with administering justice on everything from personal injury lawsuits to murder cases.

And they’re among the toughest offices for voters to pick from because there’s such little information about the people running.

This particular race was for the seat of Judge Frank Opsino, who died earlier this year.

Bell, an OC Superior Court Commissioner, faced off against Deputy Attorney General Peggy Huang, who also is a Yorba Linda councilwoman and Republican former candidate for Congress.

The OC Bar Association rated Bell as “Well Qualified” and Huang as “Qualified.”

An unknown number of mail-in ballots have yet to be counted, and can arrive after Election Day and still be counted as long as they’re postmarked by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Click here to read the candidates’ answers to Voice of OC survey questions.

Nick Gerda covers county government for Voice of OC. You can contact him at ngerda@voiceofoc.org.

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