Bao, Humphrey, Melissa Fox, Measure J All Close In By 1/3 of the Margin, But None Yet Leading — Looks Close!

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Laguna Woods - Tso Moore

Tso photo credit to the Register; Moore’s is from her website.

As Orange Juice Blog seems to have become Orange County’s newspaper of record on close races, given that no one else seems to be covering them quite this closely, we begin with a real squeaker.  Rae Tso now leads Carol Moore by only one vote, 2,852 to 2,851, for the second seat on the Laguna Woods City Council — but that is not why you probably clicked on this post.  It simply bears note, given our weighty responsibility.  OJB has remained neutral in this race, but we are still waiting for a fuller explanation of the 2009 “water bottle incident.”  We’re also, frankly, not fans of chunky costume jewelry, but we’re willing to put that aside.

Here are the numbers for the today’s ballot count:

New provisionals counted: 6618 (26,046 remain.)

New VBMRAPs counted: 3,029 (2,356 remain.)

New paper ballots counted: 200 (342 remain.)

Now let’s get to the fun stuff.

Close Races Collage

Progressive hopefuls Nguyen, Humphrey, Fox — and a community college bond for Veterans.

The tight races we’re following in Garden Grove, Costa Mesa, and Irvine all got tighter today — in a day that looks like it may not have had a full crew of counters — but none have as yet reversed their outcome.  In all three races, the trailing candidate made up about 1/3 of their deficit with about 1/3 of the provisionals left to count.  That means that, if there’s two days left of counting, the best estimate of the expected result for all three races would be very close to a tie.  (If you’re toying with us, Neal Kelley, you can stop now!)  In actuality, though, until now a smaller proportion has been provisionals than we’ll see in the days ahead, which bodes slightly better than that for Bao Nguyen, Jay Humphrey, and Melissa Fox, who are pictured above.  But each of the races could still go either way, depending on what precincts have and have not already have their provisionals counted.

Let’s get right to the races.  For each candidate, you’ll see today’s raw vote total, plus that candidate’s percentage of today’s haul in parenthesis.

Garden Grove

Yesterday, Bruce Broadwater led by 38.

CITY OF GARDEN GROVE Mayor
Completed Precincts: 87 of 87
Vote Count Percentage
* BRUCE ALLAN BROADWATER 11,120 42.6%
BAO NGUYEN 11,082 42.4%
ALBERT AYALA 3,908 15.0%

 Today, Broadwater leads by 26.

CITY OF GARDEN GROVE Mayor
Completed Precincts: 87 of 87
Vote Count Percentage
* BRUCE ALLAN BROADWATER 11,622 42.4%
BAO NGUYEN 11,596 42.3%
ALBERT AYALA 4,184 15.3%

Another 1,292 votes were counted.  Broadwater picked up 502 votes (38.9%), Bao picked up 514 (39.8%), and Ayala picked up an unusually high (for him) 276 (21.4%).  That last number probably shows that we’re into provisionals and/or paper ballots here.

Costa Mesa

Yesterday, Jim Righeimer led by 35.

CITY OF COSTA MESA Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 70 of 70
Vote Count Percentage
KATRINA FOLEY 8,933 26.5%
* JIM RIGHEIMER 7,218 21.4%
JAY HUMPHREY 7,183 21.3%
LEE RAMOS 5,071 15.0%
TONY CAPITELLI 1,766 5.2%
AL MELONE 1,390 4.1%
RITA LOUISE SIMPSON 1,135 3.4%
CHRISTOPHER SCOTT BUNYAN 1,037 3.1%

Today, Righeimer leads by 21.

CITY OF COSTA MESA Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 70 of 70
Vote Count Percentage
KATRINA FOLEY 9,252 26.5%
* JIM RIGHEIMER 7,432 21.3%
JAY HUMPHREY 7,411 21.2%
LEE RAMOS 5,249 15.0%
TONY CAPITELLI 1,839 5.3%
AL MELONE 1,459 4.2%
RITA LOUISE SIMPSON 1,179 3.4%
CHRISTOPHER SCOTT BUNYAN 1,098 3.1%

Another 1,186 votes were counted.  Foley picked up 319 (26.9%).  Righeimer picked up 214 (18.0%).  Humphrey picked up 228 (19.2%).  Ramos picked up 178 ().  Capitelli picked up 73 (15.0%).  Melone picked up 69 (5.8%).  Simpson picked up 44 (3.7%).  Bunyan picked up 61 (5.1%).  That bump for Bunyan suggests that we’re into provisionals.

Irvine

Yesterday Fox trailed Lynn Schott by 331.

CITY OF IRVINE Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 109 of 109
Vote Count Percentage
* JEFFREY LALLOWAY 16,078 22.9%
LYNN SCHOTT 16,072 22.9%
MELISSA FOX 15,741 22.4%
* LARRY AGRAN 13,722 19.6%
EVAN CHEMERS 8,571 12.2%

Today, Fox trails Jeff Lalloway by 223.

CITY OF IRVINE Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 109 of 109
Vote Count Percentage
LYNN SCHOTT 16,610 22.9%
* JEFFREY LALLOWAY 16,556 22.8%
MELISSA FOX 16,333 22.5%
* LARRY AGRAN 14,238 19.6%
EVAN CHEMERS 8,865 12.2%

Another 2,418 votes were counted.  Schott picked up 538 (22.2%).  Lalloway picked up 478 (19.8%).  Fox picked up 592 (24.5%).  Agran picked up 516 (21.3%).  Chemers picked up 294 (12.1%).  The improved performance of Fox and Agran and the worse performance of Lalloway suggests that we’re into provisionals.

Measure J

Yesterday, the Measure J bond (which needs 55% to pass) was behind this much:

J-North Orange County Community College District, Fullerton/Cypress Colleges Bond Measure
Completed Precincts: 522 of 522
Vote Count Percentage
Bonds – Yes 78,083 54.7%
Bonds – No 64,565 45.3%

Today, it’s down by 1/3 of that:

J-North Orange County Community College District, Fullerton/Cypress Colleges Bond Measure
Completed Precincts: 522 of 522
Vote Count Percentage
Bonds – Yes 79,049 54.8%
Bonds – No 65,119 45.2%

Another 1520 votes were counted.  The Yes side added 966 votes (63.55%).  The No side added 554 votes (36.45%).  Provisionals are more likely to be renters who want the services and are less worried about being on the hook for payments in the long-term, which may explain the almost 9-point jump.  As this is so close, I’ll calculate the figure to three decimal places: the actual lead is 54.831%.  One more day like today would mean 80,015 to 65,673 — a margin of 54.922%.  Two more days would mean a narrow victory.

So, in this race too, the losing side made up about 1/3 of the margin.  What are the odds of that happening in all 4 primary undecided races!  The big question now is: when do each of these municipalities run out of provisionals — and will the provisionals that have been counted survive a not-unlikely court challenge?

Others

Some other close races so still exist, but in none of them (except maybe Dana Point and Measure N) does the challenger seem likely to catch up due to provisional ballots.  For the record, though, you could keep an eye on:

  • Art Montez by 123 (0.7%) over Kevin Sequeira in Centralia School District
  • Jim Cunneen by 88 (0.3%) over Gary Stine in Fountain Valley School District
  • Cynthia Aguirre by 132 (0.9%) over Kevin Jacobson in La Habra City School District
  • James Vanderbilt by 263 (0.4%) over Gail Eastman for Anaheim City Council
  • Joe Muller by 61 (0.2%) over Jodi Payne for Dana Point City Council
  • Measure N (Anaheim Utility Tax) No by 289 over Yes (down from 341 yesterday)
  • Satoru Tamaribuchi by 1,339 (2.2%) over Execrable Dave Ellis for Municipal Water District of Orange County, Seat 5

That last one isn’t really a close race; we just like rubbing it in.


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)