A First Look at 2016’s Unsettled Races, Through Wednesday Nov. 9’s Results




Orange Homegrown

This post covers ONLY THOSE RACES THAT WE COULD NOT CALL ON ELECTION NIGHT.  For races that we believe were settled on election night, refer to this earlier post — as well as to the most recently updated version of the Registrar of Voters results page.

Here is a list of the races covered in this post:

  1. CA-49
  2. SD-29:
  3. AD-65:
  4. Rancho Santiago CCD Seat 5:
  5. South OC CCS Seat 4:
  6. Brea Olinda USD, 3rd Spot:
  7. Irvine USD, third spot
  8. Santa Ana USD, third spot
  9. Buena Park Elementary, Seat 4
  10. Centralia Elementary, Seat 3
  11. Ocean View Elementary, second spot
  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
  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, BOTH 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

We keep track of WHAT’s LEFT TO COUNT right here at the top so that we can be aware of how and when it changes.  All that changed for today was that 1265 Early Ballots were counted.  That category isn’t incuded in this list because I don’t think that it’s been nearly as a big deal before this year.

If you look at the results page — like this one — you’ll see this at the very top of the main data column:

Registration and Turnout
Completed Precincts: 1668 of 1668
Reg/Turnout Percentage
Total Registered Voters 1,535,967
Precinct Registration 1,535,967
Precinct Ballots Cast 389,948 25.4%
Early Ballots Cast 5,596 0.4%
Vote-by-Mail Ballots Cast 431,038 28.1%
Total Ballots Cast 826,582 53.8%

ALMOST EVERYTHING is either a precinct ballot or a vote-by-mail (“VBM”) ballot  — but not everything!

The numbers in the chart below are for “Ballots Counted after Election Day.”  Ballots counted BY ELECTION DAY includes VBM ballots that arrived early enough that they could be processed in time to be included in the Registrar’s big first data dump on Tuesday evening at 8:05 p.m.), and  — with the cutoff of when ballot arriving before Election Day, and which is what much of the rest of the categories below deal with)

That leaves:

  • “VBM ballots left to count” (included in the “VBM Ballots” row above)
  • “Provisional ballots left to count” (included in the “Precinct Ballots” row above
  • “Vote-by-Mail ballots left at the polls” (I think that these are VBM Ballots, even though they are collected at precincts)
  • “Election Day Paper ballots left to count” (clearly these are “Precinct Ballots”)
  • “Eligible Vote-by-Mail Ballots received after Election Day Left to Count” (again, probably VBM)

But the ballots at the Early Voting stations, at the Registrar’s Office and elsewhere (such as Anaheim City Hall) — WHICH ARE GREAT — are neither VBM ballots nor precinct ballots.  They are the “fungus” that is neither animal nor vegetable.  And so, like fungus, they get their own line.

And that’s what increased yesterday, as 1265 of them were counted, which is why you saw some change in the numbers but not a whole lot.  We learned something about early voters too: they are strongly pro-Hillary.  She got 911 Presidential votes out of those 1265 ballots and Trump got 282.  (Johnson got 23, Stein 23, and LaRiva 4.)  So when people try to get rid of early voting, you know EXACTLY who they are trying to Un-Help!

Here’s the Nov. 9 “Left to Count” posting, identical to the Nov. 8 one.

Total Ballots Left to Count, NOV. 9, 5 p.m.

Total estimated number of ballots to count (after Election Day): 410,480

Total estimated number of ballots counted (after Election Day): 0

Total Estimated Left to Count: 410,480

Vote-by-Mail Ballots Left to Count

Total estimated number of vote-by-mail ballots to count: 95,806

Total vote-by-mail ballots counted: 0

Total estimated number of vote-by-mail ballots left to count: 95,806

Provisionals Left to Count

Total estimated number of provisionals to count: 108,000

Total provisionals counted: 0

Total estimated number of provisionals left to count: 108,000

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: 184,174

Total vote-by-mail ballots returned at the polls counted: 0

Total estimated number of vote-by-mail ballots returned at the polls left to count: 184,174

Election Day Paper Ballots Left to Count

Total estimated number of election day paper ballots to count: 22,500

Total election day paper ballots counted: 0

Total estimated number of election day paper ballots left to count: 22,500

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: 0

Total eligible vote-by-mail ballots counted: 0

Total estimated number of eligible vote-by-mail ballots left to count: 0

So much for the preliminaries — on with the show!


This race covers two counties.  In San Diego County, Douglas Applegate leads Darrell Issa by 67,673 to 59,984, a margin of 7,689 votes.  But in ORANGE County, Issa leads Applegate by 33,700 to 22,031, a margin of 11,969 votes — for an overall lead of 4,280 votes.  Democrats should have dropped almost everything else to pour resources — especially human resources — into beating Issa — but we couldn’t because we had a bunch of Santa Ana cronies to promote instead.

[PREVIEW:  Issa in OC, now 34,140.  Doug in OC now 22,333.]


Below after the names you’ll find the total votes; then breakdowns for (respectively) OC, LA, and SB (San Berdoo) counties; and then the % of the vote, as of the 5:00 reports on 11/9:

Chang 81,695 9,002 13,615 104,312 0.511592
Newman 77,878 7,452 14,255 99,585 0.488408



Y. Kim 48,084
Quirk-Silva 49,626

Sharon has 50.8% — and it’s just going to keep going higher as we go on.  But we’re not calling it yet because we’re not yet calling anything that that’s close and we want to be even-handed.  (But, psssst!, Sharon’s going to win!)

Rancho Santiago CCD Seat 5:

Name, Count, and Percentage:

Vote Count Percentage
* CLAUDIA C. ALVAREZ 4,878 41.3%
STEVEN A. NGUYEN 4,619 39.1%

Very likely Alvarez, unless it’s just Asian or Republican ballots remaining — but still too close to tie a bow around it.

South OC CCS Seat 4:

* TERRI WHITT 74,763 35.0%
JOHN ALPAY 72,058 33.7%
JIM LEACH 66,698 31.2%

Damn, that’s close!  We’re not going to touch it anytime soon.

Brea Olinda USD, 3rd Spot:

PAUL RUIZ 5,781 22.0%
* GAIL LYONS 5,407 20.5%
* KEVIN J. HOBBY 4,454 16.9%
* RODNEY “ROD” TODD 4,281 16.3%
JASON KRAFT 3,921 14.9%
JOSEPH COVEY 2,470 9.4%

Hobby and Todd ran on the same slate, so that’s pretty sad for them to now be competing.  But without their being honorable, Kraft probably would have beaten them both for that last spot.

Irvine USD, third spot

* LAUREN BROOKS 24,072 23.6%
* PAUL BOKOTA 21,417 21.0%
BETTY CARROLL 19,004 18.6%
MARK NEWGENT 16,707 16.4%
NAZ HAMID 14,979 14.7%

This looks likely to go to Carroll, of course — but, again, we’re being cautious.  (PREVIEW:  She has pulled slightly further ahead in Thursday’s report, but I haven’t checked where those ballots came from.)

Santa Ana USD, third spot

* CECILIA “CECI” IGLESIAS 13,277 20.9%
RIGO RODRIGUEZ 11,441 18.0%
ANGIE CANO 8,338 13.1%

Decent day for Cano.  (Preview:  Thursday was worse.)

Buena Park Elementary, Seat 4

* L. CAROLE JENSEN 539 50.5%

No explanation for holding back on this one requred.

Centralia Elementary, Seat 3

IRV TRINKLE 1,090 47.30%

This one is on the bubble of being called, but there’s some evidence suggesting a late move towards Trinkle.

Ocean View Elementary, second spot

* GINA CLAYTON-TARVIN 14,035 34.8%
NORM WESTWELL 8,788 21.8%
AMALIA LAM 4,602 11.4%

Late ballots could affect this one — Vern’s article on Westwell got a lot of hits.

Westminster Elementary, second spot

* JAMISON POWER 10,540 41.60%
FRANCES NGUYEN 8,165 32.20%
KARL D. TRUONG 6,619 26.10%

This looks like it’s probably over, but at this point it’s a fight within the Vietnamese community during a contentious year (with Janet Nguyen at odds with Andrew Do), and I won’t even pretend to understand it.

County Supervisor, District 1

* ANDREW DO 49,799 53.1%

Six points is about where I’d usually draw the line here, but I’m leaving this up for a while.  Vietnamese voters make extensive and effective use of VBM ballots, given their very organized political machine.  Latino voters, except when Pulido is involved, are less effectively organized and thus more likely to vote later and, crucially for this race, to use provisional ballots.  I recognize that most other writers think that those factors are all baked in to these results and therefore have already called it; I suspect that they’re right in the result but am not yet confident enough to agree that it’s over.

Anaheim District 1

DENISE BARNES 2,292 27.9%

Hey, I’d love to be able to call District 1 based on these results, but I’m not going to.  It’s way too close — and with late voters being disproportionately Latino it’s possible that they’ll vote for the guy with Sudden Mexican Syndrome over the woman who is far more Latino-identified — except for her name.  This one will stay on the NOT SETTLED list for quite a while.  Sorry, my friends; just keep the faith for now!

Anaheim District 3

JOSE F. MORENO 2,563 33.6%
ROBERT R. NELSON 1,219 16.0%

This one is not the least bit over, but one thing is crystal clear — if Brandman wins this, it will be because her or his people convinced “ghost candidate” Jennifer Rivera and his Moreno-hating (actually more Moren0-campaign-manager Al Jabbar-hating) friend to get into the race and split the Latino vote.  Otherwise he loses by a mile.  I don’t know who Robert Nelson pulled from more — my guess is that it was slightly more from Moreno — but I do not begrudge his being in the race because he actually ran a race rather than just running to blindside another candidate.  One reason for optimism here is that my guess is that Brandman’s flame burned lower towards the end and Moreno’s stayed constant.  By the way, Disney, this is PART of why you’re a Latino-hobbling company, you and your “less than 40% despite a half-million or whatever behind him” current leader.  We won’t know how this one went until we see provisionals at the end — which will be trench warfare between lawyers and probably will not begin until late next week — to see how many Latino voters Disney’s goons will try to disenfranchise.  (Pissed?  Good!  Let’s all watch Disney closely until the develop a sense of shame!)

Brea Treasurer

* RICK RIOS 6,156 52.2%
GEORGE ULLRICH 5,627 47.8%

Rick Rios shuttered his website, but did not exist the race, after his drunken hit and run half a month before Election Day.  A third of the voters had already sent in VBMs early — and the news took time to spread.  Rios took about a 450-vote lead in VBMs and extended it about 75 in the ballots counted thus far — but late VBMs may be less kind.  Then again, the Spanish-surnamed candidate may do well in provisionals.  If Rios wins, it will be because Brea suffers from poor press coverage:  Can you imagine what would have happened had he been running in Anaheim, Fullerton, Garden Grove, or Irvine?  (TV spots?)

Costa Mesa Council, third spot

* SANDRA L. “SANDY” GENIS 11,922 18.7%
JOHN STEPHENS 11,880 18.7%
ALLAN R. MANSOOR 10,216 16.0%
* STEVE MENSINGER 9,802 15.4%
JAY HUMPHREY 9,751 15.3%
LEE RAMOS 6,854 10.8%
AL MELONE 3,229 5.1%

As some of you — particularly some of the nastier somes of you who like to keep a close eye on me and never forget anything, although you might mangle it in memory — two years ago I kept expecting and cheerleading for a late charge by Jay Humphrey that never arrived.  So I’m going to avoid doing that this year.  I’ll just say that this one does not appear to be over — and in a year when voters have already lowered the boom on the Righeimer years, it would not be surprising to see Humphrey join the rest of his slate on the dais.

There’s some good reason to think that, at a minimum, Humphrey will outpoll Mensinger.  At the time when “older VBMs were released Tuesday at 8:05 p.m., Mansoor had 5,019 votes (16.5%), Mensinger had 4,783 (15.8%), and Humphrey had 4,612 (15.2%).  By 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, Mansoor had added another 5,197 votes, Mensinger 5,019, and Humphrey 5,139.  But finishing close behind Mansoor won’t get Humphrey onto the dais — though he may be the leading Democratic candidate in 2018, when Righeimer is up and Mensinger might want back on.  [PREVIEW:  Yesterday was slightly kinder to Mansoor than to the two candidates chasing him.]

Fullerton Council, third spot

* BRUCE WHITAKER 11,652 14.60%
JESUS SILVA 10,952 13.70%
LARRY BENNETT 10,168 12.70%
JANE RANDS 7,668 9.60%
SUSAN GAPINSKI 5,274 6.60%
JOE IMBRIANO 4,688 5.90%
ROBERTA REID 2,680 3.40%

Given that he, like his wife, is likely to do better in the vote tally as the days wear on, it would be quite surprising if Jesus Silva didn’t take the final spot on the dais.  This would make him the swing vote between the Whitaker+ Sebourn faction and the Fitzgerald + Chafee faction.  He’d be much less tied to Fitzgerald and Chafee than Jan Flory was — although not on the other side either.  Bargaining with everyone but Fitzgerald for an order of Mayoral succession that went Chafee, Sebourn, Whitaker, Silva would be a smart way to start off his career.  And trying to convince Silva to be on their side of various issues, rather than ripping off his face, would be a smart move for the resurgent FFFF, because — let’s remember — Silva did have the guts to endorse Dr. Moreno over Brandman in Anaheim District 3.  It cost him in his own race — but it didn’t cost him enough to lose!  And now the people who shot at him — and, frankly, were probably rooting for Bennett — have to live with having shot at him and missed.

Garden Grove, District 6

RICKK MONTOYA 1,470 42.80%

Kim Bernice Nguyen is leading this race for two reasons: she was the candidate of the Lou Correa machine (to the extent that Correa has an actual machine) and Claudio Gallegos steered her through the process of pretending to have drawn the maps he created that were selected to be used this year.  This is especially obscene because it was Montoya who had the guts to bring the lawsuit to force districting — but the more obscene the maneuver the better for some OC Democrats’ taste.  Nguyen’s percentage lead since the “older VBMs” report has dropped from 28% to 14-1/2%, but she’s lost fewer than 100 points in her margin.  The reason that this is still not called is the possibility that, in screwy Garden Grove, the late and provision ballots may differ substantially than those counted previously, due to the differences in organization between the Latino and Vietnamese communities.  Certainly one must favor Nguyen, but I’m not quite ready to close the book on this one yet — even though I wouldn’t make book on it.

Laguna Beach Council, second spot

* BOB WHALEN 5,244 32.90%
* STEVE DICTEROW 4,058 25.50%
VERNA ROLLINGER 3,776 23.70%
JUDIE MANCUSO 2,858 17.90%

This is just sad.  Verna Rollinger was a great public servant for many years as City Clerk, and she would be a great addition to the City Council.  It’s still possible that she could catch Dicterow, but not all that likely.  [PREVIEW: No new Laguna Beach votes were tallied in Thursday’s release of data.]

Lake Forest Council, second spot

LEAH BASILE 9,805 26.90%
* DWIGHT ROBINSON 7,132 19.60%
* ADAM NICK 6,984 19.20%
FRANK WAGONER 5,011 13.80%
FARH SEMNANI 1,996 5.50%

Almost nothing has been counted since the final Election Night Update at 2 a.m. Wednesday morning.  Can Adam Nick overtake Southern California Air Quality Control Board bane Dwight Robinson?  Sure.  Will be?  Keep reading OJB for coverage, because this one’s probably going to the wire!

Los Alamitos Council, second spot

JOSH WILSON 1,904 37.80%
* RICHARD D. MURPHY 1,606 31.90%
* DEAN GROSE 1,523 30.30%

Richard Murphy’s lead over Dean Grose is not insurmountable, but it is delicious!

Newport Beach, District 5

JEFF HERDMAN 9,479 36.40%
LEE LOWREY 8,598 33.00%
MIKE GLENN 7,991 30.70%

Herdman taking the plurality makes it a lot harder for Glenn to catch up on Lowrey.  But we’ll keep watching.

Placentia Council, third spot

WARD L. SMITH 5,568 16.50%
* JEREMY B. YAMAGUCHI 5,348 15.90%
CHRIS BUNKER 4,251 12.60%
RHONDA SHADER 4,243 12.60%
KEVIN KIRWIN 3,439 10.20%
FABIAN O. FRAGIAO 2,188 6.50%
BLAKE MONTERO 1,396 4.10%

Close race, huh?  Don’t expect it to stay that way.  Rhonda Shader had 300 fewer votes than the two men she’s battling with when the Old VBMs came out, which suggests that among voters who voted later in the process, she has the momentum.  Could be wrong, of course!

San Clemente Council, second spot

* CHRIS HAMM 10,466 28.90%
STEVEN SWARTZ 8,253 22.80%
* ROBERT “BOB” BAKER 8,085 22.40%
DAN BANE 7,933 21.90%
PAMELA JOY GLASS 1,437 4.00%

Swartz and Bane have both lost steam after the Older VMBs came out.  Baker has been gaining.  [Preview: they added almost the same exact number of votes to their totals on Thursday.]

Seal Beach, District 2

THOMAS MOORE 1,040 50.90%
RONDE WINKLER 1,004 49.10%

It’s very close, but Winkler was almost 10% ahead when the Older VBMs came out, so Moore clearly has the momentum.

Villa Park Council, BOTH SPOTS

VINCE ROSSINI 1,322 34.30%
ROBERT (ROBBIE) PITTS 1,308 34.00%

Pitts has made up almost 3% on Rossini since the Older VBMs came out, so I’d expect Pitts to come in first followed by Rossini.  In raw number terms, though, this one is pretty wild.

Yorba Linda Council, third spot

TARA CAMPBELL 10,989 19.90%
* EUGENE J. “GENE” HERNANDEZ 9,465 17.10%
BETH HANEY 8,565 15.50%
* CRAIG YOUNG 8,205 14.90%
RYAN SMITH 6,219 11.30%
PAUL E. DIPPOLITO 4,702 8.50%

Right now Haney looks likely to beat Young, but not much has been counted since the end of Election Day.

Rossmoor Community Services, third spot

* TONY DEMARCO 2,203 26.40%
* RON CASEY 1,821 21.80%
* MICHAEL MAYNARD 1,755 21.00%
PAUL KALISH 1,677 20.10%
SHAZ UMER 893 10.70%

I have a 2000-word essay handicapping the race between Maynard and Kalish for the final spot, but it’s only available off-line for $150.

Midway City Sanitary, second spot

* AL KRIPPNER 8,607 26.30%
* JOY L. NEUGEBAUER 7,623 23.30%
ANITA A. RICE 4,879 14.90%

Neugebarger has picked up 3,129 votes since Older VBMs came in.  Nguyen has picked up 2,137.  I tend to like Neugebarger’s chances here.

El Toro Water, third spot

* JOSE VERGARA 8,780 27.00%
* SCOTT GOLDMAN 8,377 25.70%
* MARK MONIN 7,802 24.00%

Very little has happened here, which doesn’t help Freshley’s odds of a comeback.  The percentage margin is falling but the raw vote total margin is stable.

Yorba Linda Water, Melton Recall replacement

ALBERT M. NEDERHOOD 11,344 51.40%
ROBERT W. “BOB” WREN 10,711 48.60%

Not that much of a lead for Nederhood, but so far it looks extremely stable.

MWDOC Division 4

* JOAN FINNEGAN 33,545 43.60%
KELLY ROWE 30,492 39.60%
TIM BEAMAN 12,899 16.80%

Finnegan has gained 15,060 more votes since Older VBMs ended; Rowe has gained 15,839.  So the trend is going Rowe’s way, but not likely enough so to reverse the result.  We’ll keep watching.

Measure GG

Yes 6,796 48.70%
No 7,168 51.30%

Yes has gained 3,380 votes since Older VBMs came out.  No has gained 3,860.  I don’t think that this is going to pass.  But we’ll keep watching this Garden Grove measure.

Measure OO

Yes 10,973 50.50%
No 10,755 49.50%

San Clemente’s Hotel tax increase was up by 433 votes when Older VBMs came out.  Now it’s up by only 118.  But, it would be surprising if later voters were as likely to get this far down the ballot as earlier ones, so it might still just squeak by.

Friday morning, we’ll get to Thursday’s results!

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.)