Update Friday: DIEDRE Faces JANET in Runoff!!




[Note: this was originally published on 3/9; republished 3/20.]

Of the local races that we actually cared much about Tuesday (and perhaps I am using the royal “we,” I’m no longer sure) most are disappointing at this point.   But we have long memories, nearly ancestral ones, of California election results changing dramatically over the first week of counting – usually in the favor of Democrats, and progressives.  So here are the ones we’re holding out hope for, as of Wednesday morning while there are still “zero precincts reporting,” and we’ll keep going back to OCvote every 5 pm to see if these races radically transform – it’s happened before! 

As of 3/20, the counting in OC is complete.  (It continues in LA, but those results are highly unlikely to change.)  So here’s how these races of interest ended up:

  • Bernie beat Biden in OC by 8.8%.  Too bad that’s not letter reflected in the DPOC CC results.
  • AD-72: Diedre Nguyen beat Tyler Diep by 832 votes, or 0.7%, and will face Janet Nguyen, who had 33.8%, in a winnable runoff!
  • CA-39: Young Kim and Gil Cisneros proceed to the runoff, while Steve Cox is out.  Kim had 50.36% in OC to Cisneros’s 44.65%, but overall (with more votes to come from LA, where Cisneros leads with  53.6 to 41.8%, the current overall result of 48.4% to 46.8% will continue to shift towards Gil.
  • SD-29: Ling-Ling Chang, with 47.5% overall (52.3% in OC) will face Josh Newman, with 33.5% overall (34.6% in OC.)  Because LA votes are still coming in — Chang leads Newman there by 41.6% to 31.3% — that overall margin will tighten a little.  The third candidate, Joseph Cho, was a Democrat from LA County, and his 26.1% there (19.0% overall) will largely go to Newman.  Combine that with the bluer electorate in November and this looks like a tight race, probably slightly favoring Josh.
  • SD-37: John Moorlach, with 47.3% of the vote, will face a runoff with Dave Min, who defeated Katrina  Foley with 28.0% of the vote to her 24.7%.
  • SUPE 1: Andrew Do got 42.3% of the vote and will face Sergio Contreras, who got 22.4%,  Miguel Pulido trailed Contreras by 2,106 votes, with 20.2%.  Kim Berniece Nguyen got 15%.
  • SUPE 3: With 52.34%, Don Wagner beat Ashleigh Aitken with 47.66%.
  • CBOE 3: Ken Williams beat Andy Thorburn by 59.2% to 40.8%.
  • CBOE 4: Tim Shaw won with 33.1%,  Vicki Calhoun finished 6,216 votes behind him with 27,2%,  Paulette Chaffee trailed with 22.1%.  Jordan Brandman finished last with 17.6%.

UPDATE Day 2:  With “100% of precincts” reporting, the races we care about have barely budged, although in the right way.  The registrar says they still have 166,107 ballots left to count;  apparently they counted 21,461 today – Wednesday – so maybe whatever movement we saw today we could multiply by 9?

UPDATE Day 4 (Friday, 5pm) Now 127,867 ballots left to count.  694 of those are vote-by-mail;  32,689 of those are from ballot drop-boxes; 12,624 are “eligible vote-by-mail ballots received after Election Day; and 9,771 are “Conditional Voter Registration.”  Let’s see how what’s been counted has changed things… 

UPDATE Saturday (next one Monday at 5)  126,109 ballots left to count, which means they did 1,763 today – this is going slow!  The vast majority of the ballots remaining now are 91,707 vote-by-mail returned at vote centers (that would include mine & Donna’s) and 24,047 left in drop boxes.  I’ll redo the following in the order of HOPEFULNESS, and maybe get rid of a couple hopeless ones, like Thorburn v. Williams. 

And MONDAY – 102,610 votes left.  At this rate it may be 4 more days, and whatever progress we see here we could expect to multiply it fourfold MAYBE (And the only progress is in Diedre catching up with Tyler right now.)

UPDATE Sunday 3/8 (by Greg)  I don’t want to horn in on Vern’s post, but this is a good day to check the OC races that are shared with other counties, here relying on the Secretary of State’s site:

CA-38: Linda Sanchez leads with 77.5% of the vote over Michael Tolar.  This is the last update you’ll get on this.

CA-39: with 66,634 votes (49.9%), Young Kim leads incumbent Gil Cisneros, who had 60,518 (45.3%).  Lefty independent Steve Cox had 6,459 (4.8%) and did not make the runoff.  This is actually a pretty good result for Gil, given that turnout will greatly increase during the November election; he’s well within the “Quirk-Silva range” of being favored before a larger electorate.  But it will take work.

CA-47Al Lowenthal, with 48,277 votes (43.0%) will be in a runoff against John Briscoe, who got 20,924 (18.6%). Republican Amy Phan West got 15.3%, Democrat Peter Mathews got 10.1%, and Jalen Dupree McLoud (8.8%) and Sou Moua (4.1%) might want to consider a more entry-level race next time.

CA-49Mile Levin got 90,433 votes (54.6%) against Brian Maryott’s 75,170 (45.4%). Maryott won by 9.4% in OC and Levin by 15.8% in the much larger (7/9 of Levin’s votes and 2/3 of Maryott’s San Diego County haul.

SD-29: This one is of some concern for Democrats, despite that the two Dems combines got a plurality of the votes.  Overall, Ling Ling Chang 79.054 (48.8%), Josh Newman got 53.663 (33.1%), and Joseph Cho won 28,375 (18.1%). Josh will do better in November — he seemed to reserve his forces this winter, putting out far fewer signs than did Cho — and if Cho’s voters vote policies rather than closest ethnicity Josh should get the brunt of them as well.  

In Los Angeles County, Chang received 43.3%, Newman 31.3%, and Cho 25.2%.

In Orange County, Chang received 49.2%, Newman 34.0%, and Cho 16.8%.

In Chino Hills, Chang received 53.3%,

AD-55: The third race in North OC’s Tri-Counties area mirrors the overlapping Senate race.  Overall, Phillip Chen got 50,768 votes (57.8%), Andrew Rodriguez got 37,137 (42.2%).  In LA/OC/Chino Hills, respectively, Chen’s numbers were 10,409 (48.4%), 32,936 (61.7%), and 7,423 (57.2%).  The respective numbers for Rodriguez were 11,110 (51.6%), 20,476 (38.3%), and 5,551 (42.8%).  It’s Yorba Linda’s district, the rest of us just live here. But this is pretty good for a primary.

 Assembly District 72 –  Remember how Henry Kissinger, during the Iraq-Iran War of the 1980s, mused, “If there were only some way they could both lose”?   (Which, sadly, pretty much happened.)  Well, that’s the way a lot of us feel about the grand Little Saigon battle between corrupt Republicans Janet Nguyen and Tyler Diep.  At this point we want our Democrat Diedre Nguyen to make it to second place so we can scratch one of those Viet crooks off our list.  It’ll probably happen at this rate – Diedre picked up two points overnight, and we have Janet at 35, Tyler at 27, and Diedre at 24 – keep your fingers crossed for a Janet vs. Diedre race in November!

UPDATE Day 2: Diedre has moved up a little these 24 hours, THIS could actually happen.  To catch up with Tyler she has to make up 2.56%, or 1,975 votes.  THEN and only then can we have the Battle of the Female Nguyens!

UPDATE Day 3:  This is the only noticeable movement we see on Thursday (when the registrar only counted 378 votes) – Diedre is now only 559 votes behind Tyler – 1.54%!  

Day 4:  Slow progress for Diedre who’s now behind Tyler by 1.2% (1,050 votes) for the chance to take on Janet in November.  My friends in Little Saigon think she will pull this off.  Hopeful-face emoticon.  And it’s time to mention how much easier this would be if it weren’t for phony Dem candidate Bijan Mohseni taking 13,135 votes (14.8%) while being funded by Farrah-appointed Irvine Mayor Pro-tem and Republican snake Michael Carroll – a story I’ll be writing over the weekend.  ANGRY-FACE EMOTICON.

And update Saturday – that Diedre is really nipping at Tyler’s heels – 309 votes behind, or 0.31%!  And remember, 126,109 votes left to count!  MONDAY – gap is narrowing even more, she’s only 291 behind, or 0.29%.

[Greg here, at 8:20 p.m., 3/12.  Diedre is now 647 votes ahead of Diep. With 9,254 votes left in the entire county, most of them conditional registrations, her making the runoff against Janet Nguyen is a mortal lock.  May the best Nguyen win!  (P.S., and that ain’t Janet!)

[Diedre’s now up by 778, with the 3/13 results.  That’s 0.67 percent — and beyond a reasonable recount range.  But it’s Tyler’s money if he wants to try!  Election workers are happy to get more work!]

[Diedre was at 817 on Saturday 3/14; Monday 3/16 has her at 825.  Monday 3/17, 14 more makes 839.  Diedre?  You can stop beating up on Tyler now; he’s done.  Diedre?  Diedre?


OC Board of Education District 4.  We are pleasantly surprised to see our favorite, Dr. Vicki Calhoun, not only ahead of the two crooked Democrats Paulette and Jordan (Jordan is WAY behind), but only 7 points from the favored, charter-loving Republican Tim Shaw.  Tim 34, Vicki 27, Paulette 23, Jordan 17, and Tim’s lead over Vicki shrunk from 10 to 7 points overnight.  Wow, could Vicki pull this out despite everything?  And she didn’t even run a campaign, mainly due to her mother’s death.  She would be a great Board of Education trustee.  Keep checking back!

UPDATE Day 2:  Also hasn’t moved these 24 hours.  Also Disheartening.  But unlike Andy, Vicki is only 4,070 votes behind Tim – that could happen this week!  

Day 4:  Also hasn’t moved much – Vicki is at 26.4% to Tim’s 33.9%, 5657 votes behind him as all four candidates receive more votes.  Saturday pretty much the same, but like we said, 126,109 still left to count.  Monday she has crawled up to 26.47%.

3/12: [Greg here]  Tim Shaw, 33.37%; Vicki Calhoun, 26.90%; Paulette Chaffee, 22.14%; Jordan Brandman, 17.59%.  It’s over, thanks to Jordan.  Teachers unions, I have to tell you a hard truth: this is your fault.  You listened to the values-free guy who has been chumming up to you rather than to us observers, both in thus publication and in the party, who KNOW how unpopular he is — and he didn’t do much of anything once he got your endorsement, which he knew would hand the election to charter schools’ candidate.  You need to think about WHY this happened and make sure that it never happens again. One of the other two candidates, likely Calhoun, would have won without Jordan in the race.

Supervisor District 1.  It’s not surprising to see Republican Andrew Do get the most votes, with three Dems running against him – if he managed to break 50% that would mean the race was over.  But it doesn’t look that way – he went from 47% to 45% overnight – so the question is which of the three Dems will make it to face him in November – corrupt SA Mayor Pulido, “wanting” Westminster Councilman Contreras, or our favorite, GG councilwoman Kim Bernice Nguyen.  Unfortunately Kim is way behind as of now, at 14%, but we still hold out hope for a BERNICE MIRACLE.  The race for #2 spot has been switching back and forth between Sergio and Miguel, with Sergio now ahead by a point at 21%.  (I might actually prefer Do in that case – at least he’s more honest than either Miguel or Sergio.) 

UPDATE Day 2: Kim has inched up to 14.9%; if she will be Do’s challenger she’ll have to pass Miguel and Sergio, who are at 19.77 and 20.59 respectively.  She needs to get about 3559 votes to catch up with the guys.  At least we can be sure that Do, at 44.94%, will have to face an opponent in November.

Day 4:  Kim hasn’t really moved, sad-face emoticon, and Sergio is still ahead of Miguel for second place behind Do.  Sergio 20.9%, Miguel 19.6%, Kim still 14.9%.  She is now 4212 votes behind Sergio.  And Saturday… She’s inched up to 15.1% to Sergio’s 21.1% – a 4544-vote gap.  Lots left to count!  MONDAY she’s inched up to 15% behind Sergio’s 21.37%.

[Greg here on 3/12: With 22.39%. Sergio Contreras has almost certainly defeated Miguel Pulido, who got 20.24% of the vote. The bad news: Andrew Do got almost exactly as many as both of them combines.  The good new: the fourth candidate, Kim Berniece Nguyen, got almost 15% of the vote, so unless Pulido sells out to Do (and what does he have to sell?), the Dems got about 55% combined — and almost always do better in general elections.

Supervisor District 4.  This 2-person race will be over when they’re done counting votes, and right now Democrat Ashleigh Aitken is at 46% against Don Wagner’s 54%.  She stole 3% from him over the course of the night, so things are heading in Ashleigh’s direction. I know some Democrats don’t care too much about this race, but I hope Ashleigh pulls it out – not least because the grotesque dishonest last-minute attacks on her from Don and his developer buddies should not be rewarded.   

UPDATE Day 2: This race hasn’t really moved since last night, with Ashleigh still 8.4% (7871 votes) behind “Spanky.”  Not hopeful.  

Day 4:  The gap has narrowed only microscopically, with Ashleigh 7.8% (8352 votes) behind “Spanky.”  SATURDAY it’s narrowed a little more – Ashleigh is 7.1% (8343 votes) behind.  And like I keep saying, 126,109 votes still out there.  MONDAY the gap’s narrowed to 6.6%.  Ashleigh’s 8,383 votes behind, with 102,610 left to count.

[Greg here on 3/12: Wagner leads by 52.60% to 47.40%, 7,803 votes.  There aren’t even that many votes left in this district.  Anaheim City Council, Ashleigh.  We need you.]

State Senate District 34 – the question here is who will be the Democrat to take on The Moorlach?  I’ve been rooting for Katrina Foley over Dave Min just because I know and think highly of her, and I think she could have some great debates with John.  (Which would help me decide in November – John has a lot of good points for a Republican.)  Right now Dave is one point above Katrina, we’ll keep checking back to see how that shakes out.

UPDATE Day 2: Also hasn’t moved since last night.  Whatever.  Dave is reportedly a nice smart guy and Katrina’s a good mayor.  

Day 4:  Unchanged – Dave 3804 votes ahead, Katrina 1.9% behind.  SATURDAY – Gap has WIDENED to Katrina’s detriment – 2.4% or 5118 votes. MONDAY the gap has widened more – Katrina 2.7% behind.

Min has 27.86%, Foley has 24.45%.  This one is over.

OC Board of Education District 3.  Wow, right now good Democrat Andy Thorburn is WAY behind scalp-farming troglodyte Ken Williams, 61-39 (It shifted two points in Andy’s favor overnight.)  I was expecting this to be closer;  Andy spent a lot of money and a couple dozen of us have been working hard on this campaign for months.  On the other hand, going by my experience last night… almost all of Andy’s supporters I talked to had just voted in the last couple days or were actually at the polls right then.  So.. we’ll see?

UPDATE Day 2:  Also hasn’t moved these 24 hours.  Disheartening.  Right now Andy would have to make up over 21,000 votes which seems very improbable with 166,000 left to count countywide.

Day 4:  This has stayed pretty much the same from Day 1 – Ken at 60.8% and Andy at 39.2%.  Saturday Andy’s up to 39.5%.  Maybe he’ll make it to 40%, that would be a little less sad.  126,109 votes still out, and Ken is ahead by 25,304.  Monday … well, at least Andy’s getting real close to 40 – he’s at 39.86%.

[Greg here on 3/12: 59.30% for Ken Williams, 40.7% for Andy.  This is an terribly sad result.]

[Greg here in 3/14: Diedre up by 827 over Tyler.  No one’s catching up with Tim Shaw or Ken Williams.  Contreras safely ahead of Pulido for the runoff against Do.  Ashleigh never caught up with Wagner.

Finally, in the cross-county line races, starting with SD-29, and bearing in mind that LA county votes are nowhere near completely counted (and I think the same is true for SD):

Joseph Cho (Party Preference: DEM) 38,524
 Josh Newman (Party Pref: DEM) 68,478 33.5%
*Ling Ling Chang (Party Pref: REP) 97,397 47.7%

And AD-55 (which will probably get even closer when LA’s in):

Andrew E. Rodriguez

(Party Pref: DEM)
*Phillip Chen

(Party Preference: REP)
63,549 56.6%

And CA-39, where LA votes may put Gil ahead in the primary, which underestimates how he’ll likely do in the runoff!

Gil Cisneros

(Party Pref: DEM)
 Young Kim

(Party Pref: REP)
 Steve Cox

(Party Pref: NPP)

And CA-47, where the question is “who loses to Al Lowenthal?”  The answer, though it was close, is John Briscoe:

*Alan Lowenthal

(Party Pref: DEM)
Peter Mathews

(Party Pref: DEM)
16,032 10.7%
Jalen Dupree McLeod

(Party Pref: DEM)
John Briscoe

(Party Pref: REP)
25,905 17.3%
Sou Moua

(Party Pref: REP)
5,643 3.8%
Amy Phan West

(Party Pref: REP)
22,209 14.8%

And last and least, CA-49:

Mike Levin

(Party Pref: DEM)
 Brian Maryott

(Party Pref: REP)
92,242 44.4%

Levin would be the favorite in November even if the numbers were reversed.

Next update on these races will be at 5pm Thursday!

In other news, we’re happy to report OC Board of Education central-county trustee Beckie Gomez, a solid progressive, has sailed to re-election!

Mission Viejo Mayor Greg Raths is going to be the Republican to take on Congresswoman Katie Porter – Diamond will be pleased about that, but if he turns out to be the one who can beat Batgirl *I* sure won’t be.   

Harley Rouda’s Republican opponent, unsurprisingly, will be Michelle Steel.

As Diamond reminds us, the Newman – Ling-Ling race and the Cisneros – Young Kim race look better for the Democrats when you include the neighboring counties (LA and San Bernardino) that are included in those districts.

And it looks like the lame-ass government-crippling Measure A is up too far to be reversed – Democrats should have fought it harder. 

Any other insights are welcome in the comments section – I’ll be updating this at 5pm today and for the near future.

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.