Election night results were neck-and-neck in the key race for a controlling majority on the powerful Orange County Board of Supervisors.

Results as of 11:30 p.m. showed Democrat Katrina Foley’s lead narrowing to just 51% against Republican Pat Bates’ 49% in the critical 5th District race that will determine which party has a majority.

That was a major narrowing from Foley’s lead at the beginning of election night, when she was ahead 57% to 43%.

A total of 147,478 votes have been counted in the 5th District race so far.

In the northern 4th District, results had incumbent Supervisor Doug Chaffee ahead 57% to 43% against his challenger, Buena Park Mayor Sunny Park. Both are Democrats.

Park is the mayor of Buena Park and – in a rare move – was endorsed by Chaffee’s own Democratic Party.

And in the central-county 2nd District supervisor race, it was neck-and-neck between Santa Ana Mayor Vicente Sarmiento and Garden Grove Councilwoman Kim Bernice Nguyen.

Nguyen was narrowly ahead 50.2% to 49.8%.

It’s the first time in modern history that Latinos are a majority of voters in a district – a result of last year’s redistricting, the growing Latino population and federal Voting Rights Act requirements.

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.

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

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