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 firstname.lastname@example.org.