BAO TAKES THE LEAD BY 7! MEASURE J HITS 55%! Few New Votes Arrive in Costa Mesa & Irvine.

Bao with Books

Finally back in the lead!

Total estimated number of ballots to count (after Election Day): 150,305  165,305  177,305

Total estimated number of ballots counted (after Election Day): 14,765  43,792 79,638 111,235  138,714 148,561 155,556

Total estimated number of ballots left to count: 135,540  106,513  70,667  54,070 38,591 28,744 21,749

Total estimated number of vote-by-mail ballots to count: 40,000

Total vote-by-mail ballots counted: 14,765  40,000

Total estimated number of vote-by-mail ballots left to count: 25,235  0

Total estimated number of provisionals to count: 38,513 

Total provisionals counted: 0 5849 12,467 17,552

Total estimated number of provisionals left to count: 38,513 32,664 26,046 20,961

Total estimated number of vote-by-mail ballots returned at the polls to count: 66,000  81,000 93,000

Total vote-by-mail ballots returned at the polls counted: 0  3,792  39,638  71,235 87,615 90,644 92,554

Total estimated number of vote-by-mail ballots returned at the polls left to count: 66,000  62,208  26,362 9765 5385 2356 446

Total estimated number of election day paper ballots to count: 5792

Total election day paper ballots counted: 0 5250 5450

Total estimated number of election day paper ballots left to count: 5792 542 342

Laguna Woods - Tso Moore

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

Orange Juice Blog remains Orange County’s newspaper of record on all the close races, although our friends at both Voice of OC have joined us in covering the two marquee races in Garden Grove and Costa Mesa and A Bubbling Cauldron even dipped its toe into Laguna Woods today.  Speaking of which:  Carol Moore has climbed ahead of Rae Tso  by four votes for the second seat on the Laguna Woods City Council behind Bert Hack.  Moore picked up 50 today while Tso gained 45.

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

New provisionals counted: 5,085 (20,961 remain.)

New VBMRAPs counted: 1,910 (446 remain.)

New paper ballots counted: 0 (342 remain.)

Not finishing off those last two categories is inflaming my OCD.  But let’s get to the fun stuff.

Close Races Collage

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

We’re primarily covering four races at this point — Garden Grove Mayor, Costa Mesa Council, Irvine Council, and Measure J (NOCCCD School Bond.)  (Update: nope, now it’s six — adding Anaheim City Council and Measure N.)  The Garden Grove Mayor and (sort of) Measure J saw the lead change today, while Costa Mesa and Irvine had very few new ballots counted, and so stayed the same.  Again, until now a smaller proportion of the count 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, Broadwater led by 26.

Completed Precincts: 87 of 87
Vote Count Percentage
BAO NGUYEN 11,596 42.3%
ALBERT AYALA 4,184 15.3%

Today, Bao Nguyen leads by 7!

Completed Precincts: 87 of 87
Vote Count Percentage
BAO NGUYEN 11,696 42.4%
ALBERT AYALA 4,214 15.3%

Another 197 votes were counted.  Broadwater picked up 67 votes (34.0%), Bao picked up 100 (50.8%), and Ayala picked up 30 (15.2%).  Chances are good that only provisionals remain — and that’s where Bao has been cleaning up.  The wrong precincts coming in could still take him down, but having momentum plus the lead is exactly where one wants to be.

Costa Mesa

Yesterday, Jim Righeimer led 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%
AL MELONE 1,459 4.2%

Today, Righeimer leads by 37 — but don’t panic.  This was a just conservative precinct or two.

CITY OF COSTA MESA Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 70 of 70
Vote Count Percentage
KATRINA FOLEY 9,279 26.5%
* JIM RIGHEIMER 7,468 21.3%
JAY HUMPHREY 7,431 21.2%
LEE RAMOS 5,268 15.0%
AL MELONE 1,467 4.2%

Another 125 votes were counted.  Foley picked up 27 (21.6%).  Righeimer picked up 36 (28.8%).  Humphrey picked up 20 (16.0%).  Ramos picked up 19 (15.2%).  Capitelli picked up 10 (15.0%).  Melone picked up 8 (6.4%).  Simpson picked up 2 (1.6%).  Bunyan picked up 3 (2.4%).  When you see Foley get only 3/4 as many votes as Righeimer in an update of this year’s count, you know that you’re looking at an outlier.  With that out of the way, things still look good for Humphrey — plenty of provisionals remain and a fair number of them will likely be from Costa Mesa.  OJB does not retract its provisional prediction of a Humphrey win.


Yesterday, Fox trailed 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%

Today, Fox trails Lalloway by 215 — but not many votes were counted.

CITY OF IRVINE Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 109 of 109
Vote Count Percentage
LYNN SCHOTT 16,690 22.9%
* JEFFREY LALLOWAY 16,641 22.8%
MELISSA FOX 16,426 22.5%
* LARRY AGRAN 14,311 19.6%
EVAN CHEMERS 8,900 12.2%

Another 370 votes were counted.  Schott picked up 80 (22.2%).  Lalloway picked up 89 (19.8%).  Fox picked up 93 (24.5%).  Agran picked up 73 (21.3%).  Chemers picked up 35 (12.1%).  Is Fox running out of time?  Well, if she falls short, that will be why — but I wouldn’t conclude that from these numbers.  This was about 1/7 the number of new votes added yesterday, and Melissa picked up on Scott at a reasonably pace — but Lalloway happened to outpoll Schott today.   The Statement of the Votes has 619,640 being cast in the Governor’s race (where almost everyone votes) and 43,011 — just under 7% — were from Irvine.  So — if Irvine has an average number of provisional votes — and I believe that it probably has more than average, due to its student population — you’d expect about 3,000 of them to be from Irvine, but 4,000 would not be surprising.  OK, let’s do some math.  (Skip to the end of the next paragraph if you can’t abide it.)

Over the past two days combined (and remember that about 30% of those 2,778 votes cast probably weren’t the more favorable provisionals), Scott picked up 612, Lalloway picked up 563, and Fox picked up 685.  If they were pretty much equal in the expected 30% of non-provisionals, we can knock 185 off of each count to estimate how well they’re doing in the 70% of those votes that were provisionals.  So if Schott got 427, Lalloway 378, and Fox 500, then in an estimated 2,000 or so ballots Fox gained 73 votes on Schott,  She needs 264 to tie her, so even 4,000 more provisionals would make that unlikely — but not impossible if favorable precincts still need to come in.  Her situation is much better regarding Lalloway, where we’d estimate that she picked up 122 votes out of 2000 counted and needs only 215 to tie.  That’s doable, with about 3,500 provisionals.  I am making some favorable assumptions here for Fox — but not crazy ones.  I’d still put her odds at under 50%, but hope persists.

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 79,049 54.8%
Bonds – No 65,119 45.2%

Today — it’s leading.  Well, not actually leading: it’s at 0.54979995357%.   Very very close.

J-North Orange County Community College District, Fullerton/Cypress Colleges Bond Measure
Completed Precincts: 522 of 522
Vote Count Percentage
Bonds – Yes 80,527 55.0%
Bonds – No 65,939 45.0%

Another 2298 votes were counted.  The Yes side added 1478 votes (64.32%).  The No side added 820 votes (35.68%).  That’s even better than the 63.55% it had yesterday.  To actually win, 30 of those votes would have had to switch from No to Yes.  At the present rate, though , if 50 more votes come in — and that seems like a fair bet — it will be in the lead.  OJB would be willing to call this one right now if it had to.


I hate to do this, but I have to promote coverage of the Anaheim City Council race into the top section, given Gail Eastman’s gain on James Vanderbilt today.  Anaheim counted 1559 new votes — which could be as few as 780 new voters, but is probably more — and Eastman picked up 43 votes on Vanderbilt, gaining 263 to 220.  What is especially disturbing for Vanderbilt is that these were voters that went largely for Dr. Jose Moreno — who got 390 of them.  Moreno’s 4,000 votes back of Vanderbilt, so he’d need ten more days like that to catch him.  but Eastman would only need five more days like today to catch him — and with 20,000 provisionals out there (meaning another 40,000 potential votes), then it’s not entirely impossible.  If Anaheim has between 20-25% of the provisionals — unlikely but not impossible — it wouldn’t take much on an uptick for Eastman to make a charge.  That’s not how I’d bet — but, just in case, here are today’s totals so we can start keeping track:  Myrray 251, Vanderbilt 220, Eastman 263, Dr. Moreno 390, Pettibone 121, O’Keefe 104, Acevedo 93, adn JoJo Moreno hitchhiked his way to 117.

Measure N

For a similar reason, I have to include Anaheim’s Utility Tax Measure N (Anaheim Utility Tax) up here as well.  Except — Measure N now looks like it will win.  Two days ago, it was down by 341.  Yesterday, it was down by 289.  Today — it’s down by just 165.  The Yes side added 502 votes; the No side added just 378, for a net gain of 126.  It needs another day-and-a-quarter like that — and it will probably see more than enough additional voters to do it.  Sadly, this is voters for Galloway (who went up another .4% today) and Dr. Moreno doing it to themselves.


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%) — unchanged — over Kevin Sequeira in Centralia School District
  • Jim Cunneen by 88 79 (0.3%) over Gary Stine in Fountain Valley School District
  • Cynthia Aguirre by 132 142 (0.9%) over Kevin Jacobson in La Habra City School District
  • Joe Muller by 64 (0.3%) over Jodi Payne for Dana Point City Council
  • Satoru Tamaribuchi by 1,367 (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.)