Election night results showed an even split in results for the key competitive seats to represent Orange County in the state Legislature.

Among the four competitive races, Republicans were ahead for two seats and Democrats ahead in the other two as of 11 p.m.

In the highly competitive 70th Assembly District centered in Little Saigon, Republican Tri Ta was ahead 53% to 47% against Democrat Diedre Thu-Ha Nguyen.

Ta pulled ahead after starting neck-and-neck at a razor-thin lead of 50.1% to 49.9%.

Republican Janet Nguyen was ahead 53% to 47% against Democrat Kim Carr in the 36th Senate District, which includes coastal OC, Little Saigon and portions of northwest OC.

Democrat Chris Duncan was leading 52% to 48% against Republican Laurie Davies for the 74th Assembly District stretching from Laguna Niguel south through San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point and San Clemente, and continuing down through the northwestern corner of San Diego County.

And Democrat Catherine Blakespear was leading 54% to 46% against Republican Matt Gunderson for the 38th Senate District, which runs from Mission Viejo south through Ladera Ranch, San Juan Capistrano and continues south through coastal San Diego County.

As is often the case nowadays, Orange County is home to a disproportionately high number of competitive state and Congressional races, as the once solidly-red county has shifted purple.

While OC has only about 8% of the state’s population, about 15% of the competitive state Assembly races identified by CalMatters this cycle are fully or partly in the county.

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

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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