2016’s Unsettled Races, Fri. Nov. 18’s Results: MORENO, BRANDMAN TIED at 4,370; Newman Down by 187!

.

.

.

Headlines first:

  1. What’s the most dramatic outcome in the OC political races that you could imagine going into the weekend?  C’mon, try! …  Not even close!  Dr. Jose Moreno and Jordan Brandman are now tied at 4,370 votes apiece.
  2. Josh Newman pulls ahead by 1,012 votes in OC — HE IS WINNING OC!!!  and now trails Ling-Ling Chang by only 187 votes in the tri-county area after surprisingly losing 140 votes of his lead in Los Angeles.
  3. Alfonso Alvarez has started running away from Angie Cano in the race for the third Santa Ana Unified School District seat.
Jose Moreno laughing while fundraising at Desert Moon, with Mirvette Judeh, Mark Lopez, Ryan Ruelas, Iyad Afalqa, Felicity Figueroa, and others.

Jose Moreno laughing while fundraising at Desert Moon, with Mirvette Judeh, Mark Lopez, Ryan Ruelas, Iyad Afalqa, Felicity Figueroa, and others.

All right, now let’s go to our normal procedures for these (week)daily election updates, starting with … What’s Left to Count!:

Total Ballots Left to Count, Nov. 18, 5 p.m.

Total estimated number of ballots to count (after Election Day): 408,180 (had been 396,680 in Thursday’s report)

Total estimated number of ballots counted (after Election Day): 315,696 (had been 274,652 in Thursday’s report)report)

Total Estimated Left to Count: 122,028 (had been 92,484 in Thursday’s report)

Vote-by-Mail Ballots Left to Count

Total estimated number of vote-by-mail ballots to count: 95,806 (that’s after the election, presumably)

Total vote-by-mail ballots counted: 93,529 (was 91,529)

Total estimated number of vote-by-mail ballots left to count: 2,277 (was 4,277)

Provisionals Left to Count

Total estimated number of provisionals to count: 130,000 (had been 396,680 in Thursday’s report)

Total provisionals counted: 46,624 (had been 35,894 in Thursday’s report)

Total estimated number of provisionals left to count: 83,376 (had been 94,106 in Thursday’s report)

Vote-by-Mail Ballots Returned at the Polls Left to Count

Total estimated number of vote-by-mail ballots returned at the polls to count: 141,174  (had been 134,174 )

Total vote-by-mail ballots returned at the polls counted: 135,947 (had been 133,046 in Thursday’s report)

Total estimated number of vote-by-mail ballots returned at the polls left to count: 5,227 (had been 1,128 in Thursday’s report)

Election Day Paper Ballots Left to Count

Total estimated number of election day paper ballots to count: 27,000 (had been 22,500)

Total election day paper ballots counted: 25,658  (had been 245)

Total estimated number of election day paper ballots left to count: 1,342

Eligible Vote-by-Mail Ballots received after Election Day Left to Count

Total estimated number of eligible vote-by-mail ballots received after Election Day left to count: 14,200 (had been 13,917 in Wednesday’s report) 

Total eligible vote-by-mail ballots counted: 13,938 (unchanged)

Total estimated number of eligible vote-by-mail ballots left to count:  262 (unchanged)

To make that easier to grasp at a glance: an estimated 92,484 ballots remain to be counted

2,277 early VBMs + 5,227 VBMs returned at polls + 262 VBMs arriving after Election Day +
1,342 paper ballots + 83,376 provisional ballots

NOTE, HOWEVER, THAT there are unconfirmed rumors that, while the above figures are believed to be current, the ROV’s office may be at least one full day behind in reporting the results of counted ballots.  In other words, the above may be good estimates of what was counted by 5:00 today, but it does not follow that all of the data derived from those counted ballots are reflected in these number.  It may be that ballots that were counted today will not appear until tomorrow’s count — or conceivably even later.  I would consider asking Neal Kelley to clarify this, but he has enough problems with his office now having become a raucous and packed “Politics Central” for anyone interested in this year’s races — particularly AD-55, SD-29, CA-49, and Anaheim City Council.

AND INTRODUCING A NEW FEATURE: TOTAL BALLOTS THAT WERE COUNTED TODAY!

2,000 early VBMs + 2,901 VBMs returned at polls + 0 VBMs arriving after Election Day +
25,413 paper ballots + 10,730 provisional ballots

So, in other words:

  • THIS WAS A HIGHER PROVISIONAL BALLOT COUNTING DAY, BUT STILL NOT HUGE.
  • OF UNCOUNTED BALLOTS REMAINING, 90.15% ARE PROVISIONALS
  • (ALTHOUGH THE NEXT RESULTS MAY NOT YET REFLECT THAT HUGE HAUL OF PROVISIONALS.)
  • THIS WAS A HUGE (62%) “PAPER BALLOT” DAY, WITH 26% PROVISIONALS!
  • (Of course in specific elections, like SD-29 and Anaheim Districts 1 & 3, it might have been much more heavily provisional ballots — but it’s not clear who among people talking knows for sure!)

And one more thing:

I, at least, do not know whether ballots that have been challenged were opened, tabulated, and included in today’s totals, or whether they are still being set aside and waiting to be counted, or something in between!  This is CRUCIAL to know when it comes to races like Anaheim’s District 3!  UPDATE: Unconfirmed rumors are that challenged ballots have been opened and tabulated.

(WHEW!  Confused?  We sure are!)

NEXT:  Here’s a reminder of what 22 races we’re still following (and, in some cases, will call today) and those 13 initially unsettled races that we have already called:

  1. CA-49
  2. SD-29
  3. AD-65   [outcome called for Sharon Quirk-Silva]
  4. Rancho Santiago CCD Seat 5
  5. South OC CCD Seat 4
  6. Brea Olinda USD, third spot [outcome called for Kevin Hobby]
  7. Irvine USD, third spot
  8. Santa Ana USD, third spot  
  9. Buena Park Elementary, Seat 4 [outcome called for Irene Castaneda]
  10. Centralia Elementary, Seat 3
  11. Ocean View Elementary, second spot  [outcome called for Norm Westwell]
  12. Westminster Elementary, second spot
  13. County Supervisor, District 1
  14. Anaheim District 1
  15. Anaheim District 3
  16. Brea Treasurer
  17. Costa Mesa Council, third spot
  18. Fullerton Council, third spot [outcome called for Jesús Silva]
  19. Garden Grove, District 6
  20. Laguna Beach Council, second spot
  21. Lake Forest Council, second spot
  22. Los Alamitos Council, second spot
  23. Newport Beach, District 5  
  24. Placentia Council, third spot  
  25. San Clemente Council, second spot
  26. Seal Beach, District 2
  27. Villa Park Council, first AND second spots
  28. Yorba Linda Council, third spot
  29. Rossmoor Community Services, third spot
  30. Midway City Sanitary, second spot
  31. El Toro Water, third spot
  32. Yorba Linda Water, Melton Recall replacement
  33. MWDOC Division 4
  34. Measure GG
  35. Measure OO

And away we go!

CA-49

Issa 45,092 89,336 134,428 51.0109%
Applegate 29,298 99,802 129,100 48.9891%

Issa inches up about 400 votes, entirely due to a gain of about 500 in OC.  County Democrats did register voters in San Juan Capistrano this year, but not in San Clemente, Rancho Santa Margarita, and Dana Point.

SD-29

Josh Newman pulls ahead by 1,012 in OC!

STATE SENATOR 29th District
Completed Precincts: 400 of 400
Vote Count Percentage
JOSH NEWMAN (DEM) 113,013 50.2%
LING LING CHANG (REP) 112,001 49.8%

Here’s some more fun: Before today’s LA County update, based solely on the old LA figures and the new ones from OC and Chino Hills, Chang was ahead with 50.0081% to 49.9919%.

And, adding in LA County’s update today:

Chang 112,001 14,750 20,169 146,920 50.0318%
Newman 113,013 12,456 21,264 146,733 49.9682%

(Argh — apologies to people who read this before I fixed it): Newman is DOWN by 187, not UP!  LA, what’s wrong with you?

Chang has 50.03%, but as with Moreno ALL (well, almost all) of the momentum is on Newman’s side right now!

Here’s what the totals looked like YESTERDAY … YESTERDAY … YESTERDAY … for the sake of comparison.

Chang 106,755 14,627 18,071 139,453 50.2562%
Newman 106,420 12,305 19,306 138,031 49.7438%

So: Newman led Chang in LA yesterday by 1,235 votes — and he now leads her by 1,095, for a net loss of 140 votes.  (I think that this seemed so improbable to me that I just didn’t process it right as I read it.)

We are NOT calling either race — because we want to keep looking at them every day until they’re done!

AD-65  [outcome called for Sharon Quirk-Silva]

Rancho Santiago CCD Seat 5 [outcome called for Claudia Alvarez]

South OC CCD Seat 4

SOUTH ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT Governing Board Member, Trustee Area 4, Short Term
Completed Precincts: 534 of 534
Vote Count Percentage
* TERRI WHITT 99,061 34.9%
JOHN ALPAY 96,054 33.8%
JIM LEACH 89,101 31.3%

* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

Another 6,000 votes counted and Alpay makes no headway, the lead now finally bobbing up over 3,000.  That’s it: our patience is not infinite; we’re calling it for Terri Whitt.  (Frankly, our tempting fate like this is the only remaining chance Alpay has to win.)

Brea Olinda USD, third spot [outcome called for Kevin Hobby]

Irvine USD, third spot [outcome called]

Santa Ana USD, third spot

SANTA ANA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT Governing Board Member
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 64 of 64
Vote Count Percentage
* CECILIA “CECI” IGLESIAS 20,641 20.8%
RIGO RODRIGUEZ 18,559 18.7%
ALFONSO ALVAREZ 12,970 13.1%
ANGIE CANO 12,787 12.9%
MARK MCLOUGHLIN 12,204 12.3%
BRUCE THOMAS BAUER 11,921 12.0%
BEATRIZ “BEA” MENDOZA 9,973 10.1%

* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

The momentum is clearly with Alvarez, so we could easily justify calling this race — but a 183-vote margin is capable of quickly being reversed.

Buena Park Elementary, Seat 4 [outcome called for Irene Castaneda]

Centralia Elementary, Seat 3 [outcome called for Liz Gonzalez]

Ocean View Elementary, second spot  [outcome called for Norm Westwell]

Westminster Elementary, second spot [outcome called]

County Supervisor, District 1 [outcome called for Andrew Do]

Anaheim District 1 [we’ve called it for Barnes but we’re going to continue reporting on it]

CITY OF ANAHEIM Member, City Council, District 1
Completed Precincts: 30 of 30
Vote Count Percentage
DENISE BARNES 3,493 27.4%
STEVEN CHAVEZ LODGE 3,223 25.3%
LEONARD “LEN” LAHTINEN 2,726 21.4%
MARK RICHARD DANIELS 1,798 14.1%
ORLANDO PEREZ 758 5.9%
ANGEL VANSTARK 376 3.0%
FREDDY FITZGERALD CARVAJAL 368 2.9%

* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

We’ve called this because Lodge’s campaign gives the impression of having fallen to a sidewalk and been beaten senseless with a baton — whoa, where did THAT metaphor suddenly come from?! — but we’re still going to follow it, given the immense stakes.  The Friday report had Barnes picking up 146 votes, Lodge 130, Lahtinen 116, Daniels 92, Perez 50, Van Stark 24, and Freddy Fitzgerald Carvajal 22.  And this brings me to …

A Special Message to Freddy: Buck up! Don’t feel bad about the result here.  You suffered from two problems: (1) lack of a ballot statement, as we have discussed, and (2) the fact that your supporters were among the most sophisticated out there — and while they liked you, they knew that you weren’t going to win and so they voted for Barnes (and in some cases perhaps Daniels.)  If you’re choosy about the races you enter, and you do shell out for a b*ll*t st*t*m*nt, you’re going to do very well.  (P.S. Also, for your next race,  see if you can borrow a nice blimp.)

I’d try to buck up Mark Daniels’s spirits too, but I have a feeling he’s already massively pleased with his showing.  Less than 1000 votes behind Lahtinen!  Look at you, sir!

Anaheim District 3

CITY OF ANAHEIM Member, City Council, District 3
Completed Precincts: 20 of 20
Vote Count Percentage
JOSE F. MORENO 4,370 35.7%
JORDAN BRANDMAN 4,370 35.7%
ROBERT R. NELSON 1,835 15.0%
JENNIFER RIVERA 909 7.4%
LINDA LOBATOS 770 6.3%

After long and deep thought, we’ve decided not to call this race — IT BEING TIED AND EVERYTHING, YOU KNOW!  But we are feeling good about the future, because (Matt Cunningham’s speculation that this might be the final total notwithstanding, leading to the dreaded coin flips), it does not look like we’re going to run out of votes, and that is good news for Dr. Jose Moreno in his effort to supplant Jordan Brandman as the Anaheim City Council’s only Democrat.  (Yeah, did you forget about that?)

(Here’s the other funny thing: in Anaheim, the sole Democratic seat on the Anaheim City Council will have been in the majority for at least six straight years!  And if Moreno wins, it will have been the only one with that status!)

Brandman picked up 187 votes.  And that means that Moreno added — class?  you should know this one! — that’s right, 187 + 61 votes, which equals 248.  This is the sort of delicious outcome that usually isn’t allowed into novels because no one would believe it.  At any rate, Moreno has been gaining almost without pause each day since Election Day — so, unless those wily paper ballots bite him on Monday, one has to consider him the favorite at this point.

But we’re not calling the race.

Brea Treasurer [outcome called for Rick Rios]

Costa Mesa Council, third spot

Mansoor adds 414, Mensinger adds 403, and Humphrey adds 410.  Nothing happened except another 2,700 ballots getting eaten up, which is good news for Mansoor.

Fullerton Council, third spot [outcome called for Jesús Silva]

Garden Grove, District 6 [outcome called for Kim Bernice Nguyen

Laguna Beach Council, second spot [outcome called for Steve Dicterow]

Lake Forest Council, second spot

Robinson pads his lead over Nick by another 35.  We know that Nick’s going to lose, but we’re entertained.

Los Alamitos Council, second spot

Grose cuts his deficit by 7!  If he has 14 more days like this, he’s golden!

Newport Beach, District 5

Herdman’s lead grows from 660 to 711.  After some initial hiccups, the lead seems stable.  We’re going to call it for Jeff Herdman.

Placentia Council, third spot

Bunker adds 255; Shader adds 257.  We don’t see a comeback happening.  We’re calling it for Rhonda Shader.

San Clemente Council, second spot

Swartz extends his lead slightly.  We’re nearing the breaking point here.

Seal Beach, District 2 [outcome called for Thomas Moore]

(Although Winkler made up some ground today.  Shhhhhh!)

Villa Park Council, first AND second spots

Kirschner cuts his deficit from 91 to 75.

Yorba Linda Council, third spot

About 250 votes come in for both Haney and Young.  We just don’t know how many are still out there.

Rossmoor Community Services, third spot [outcome called for Michael Maynard]

Midway City Sanitary, second spot

Cha Charlie wavers, his lead dropping from 155 to 131!

El Toro Water, third spot

Monin continues to see his lead erode, with 279 against Freshley’s 320!  It’s down to 170 now!

Yorba Linda Water, Melton Recall replacement [outcome called for Al Nederhood]

MWDOC Division 4 [outcome called for Joan Finnegan]

Measure GG [outcome called for “NO”]

  1. Measure OO

Yow!  Big day for “NO”!  YES adds 692, but NO adds 899, cutting the lead from 320 to 113!

And that’s why you read all of the way to the bottom!

See you on Monday, unless Neal Kelley releases some more results before then after all!


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.)