The Vote Center at La Habra’s Community Center.



And as more of the later — and bluer — votes come in, democratic State Senator Marc Levine’s almost 1500-vote deficit to Republican Robert Howell turns overnight to an almost 14,000-vote lead. I’ll bet that Ricardo Lara is much more upset over this than Robert Howell is: Now Lara has to face a reformer. The CDP will of course work hard to screw this up and protect a centrist Democrat from one with better ideas!

Vinson Eugene Allen
(Party Preference: DEM)
 Jasper “Jay” Jackson
(Party Preference: DEM)
*Ricardo Lara
(Party Preference: DEM)
Marc Levine
(Party Preference: DEM) 
 Greg Conlon
(Party Preference: REP)
 Robert Howell
(Party Preference: REP)
 Veronika Fimbres
(Party Preference: GRN)
 Nathalie Hrizi
(Party Preference: P&F)
 Robert J. Molnar
(Party Preference: NPP)


Hey, long time no see!

THIS — one of the closest races on the ballot — may end up as one of the saddest results of the day.

Progressive Democrat Marc Levine would be an excellent Insurance Commissioner, which Centrist Democrat Ricardo Lara is not, and Levine is currently 1,460 votes behind Republican Robert Howell, who has no chance to win in November, in a race where each of them has more than 1.13 million votes.

Insurance Commissioner – Statewide Results100.0% ( 20,867 of 20,867 ) precincts partially reporting as of June 21, 2022, 9:15 a.m. 

CandidateVotes/ Percent
Vinson Eugene Allen
(Party Preference: DEM)
Jasper “Jay” Jackson
(Party Preference: DEM)
*Ricardo Lara
(Party Preference: DEM)
Marc Levine
(Party Preference: DEM)
Greg Conlon
(Party Preference: REP)
Robert Howell
(Party Preference: REP)
Veronika Fimbres
(Party Preference: GRN)
Nathalie Hrizi
(Party Preference: P&F)
Robert J. Molnar
(Party Preference: NPP)


Let’s start out with some general notes:

(1) Why is San Diego Holding Back Results?

These counties have still not reported since before June 10 (and this has been updated on June 12), with the total ballots remaining for each:

  • Alpine (June 7): 40 — 38 are VBM
  • Glenn (June 9): 1,705 — 1,698 are VBM
  • Lake (June 8): 8,541 — 7,523 are VBM
  • Mariposa (June 9): 518 — 484 areVBM
  • Mendocino (June 7): 17,949 — 17,602 are VBM
  • Merced (June 7): 12,302 — 11,902 are VBM
  • Modoc (June 8): 372 — 354 are VBM
  • Mono (June 7): 63 — 31 are VBM
  • Monterey (June 8): 29,406 — 1,758 are VBM
  • Plumas (June 7): 1,584 — 1,561 are VBM
  • San Diego (June 9): 195,000 — 193,900 are VBM
  • San Joaquin (June 9): 88,700 — 88,000 are VBM
  • San Mateo (June 9): 78,120 — 77,000 are VBM
  • Santa Barbara (June 7): 24,334 — 23,631 are VBM
  • Santa Cruz (June 8): 37,650 — 37,000 are VBM
  • Stanislaus (June 9): 27,748 — 27,200 are VBM
  • Tehama (June 9): 1,596 — 1,427 are VBM
  • Ventura (June 9): 57,565 — 55,000 are VBM
  • Yolo (June 8): 22,209 — 21,215 are VBM

I do not blame Alpine, Mono, Modoc, or Mariposa for being late. They are small counties with what I expect is limited staff, VBMs will continue to come in through either June 14 or June 21, as I recall — it used to be less, but then Covid hit and Louis DeJoy screwed up the Post Office — and it makes sense to bring in the staff later who can deal with all of the absentee ballots as once. Even counties with VBMs in the low four figures can make a case for doing so — although concerns for ballot security (not their being changed, but their being lost) increase both with time and with larger numbers. By the time a county gets into five figures I really start to wonder what they hell they’re thinking. But San Diego is alone among counties that haven’t reported by since before last Thursday, with a backlog in the five figures. Orange and Alameda both have almost as much out — but both reported a count on Thursday. Los Angeles has twice as much out — but they reported a count on Saturday. If you have that much of a backlog, you’re simply not going to run out of VBM ballots to count this far ahead of the VBM ballot arrival deadline.

Now is the actual reason that I’m irked because it keeps me from tracking the race between David Dodson and Denis Bilodeau to make the Top 2 runoff in BOE District 4? Possibly. Make that Probably. OK, make that Very Likely. Sigh. OK, YES, YES IT IS! But the criticism is still valid!



This could be an aberration, the luck of the draw of which precinct in which cities ended up being counted today. Or it could be a harbinger of things to come. Anyway, it seems like a fine way to start off a weekend. So while this really belongs in our Discussion of Results Post.

Republican Steve Vargas just picked up a quarter of the distance he’d need to pass Doug Chaffee and claim the second spot in the Supervisor’s race. That would, among other things, make it a lot more likely that Sunny Park, who is ahead of the two men, will claim the seat in the runoff.

Lets look at the numbers from yesterday and today:


SUNNY PARK | 17,705 | 35.63%

DOUG CHAFFEE | 16,485 | 33.18%

STEVE VARGAS | 15,497 | 31.19%


SUNNY PARK | 20,154 | 35.62% — + 2449 votes, – 0.01%

DOUG CHAFFEE | 18,633 | 32.93% — + 2,148 votes, 0.25%

STEVE VARGAS | 17,800 | 31.46% — + 2,303 votes, + 0.27%

Making up 155 votes in one day may not seem like a lot – but when the lead in the race for 2nd place was only 988 votes to begin with, making up almost a sixth of it even before the right-wing populist paper ballots come in at the end must be a welcome sign.


June 9 discussion did not occur due to the awesome first report from the House Investigation Committee on Jan. 6!


What races am I keeping my eye out for, now that the early absentees have been counted and we’re looking mostly at general non-early vote by mail? I have one specific one in mind: Lou Correa’s CA-46.

To save you from having to switch tabs, here was last night’s final result:


(By the way, the irritating repetition of candidate’s names and parties is an artifact of the ROV’s relatively new program for displaying the results. If you go to their site, you’ll see that after the names comes a colored horizontal bar chart that graphically indicates each candidate’s total. Those charts appear as the candidates’ names as well. The only way I can fix that is by hand. Someone remind me in early July to call them and see if they can make the pain stop!)

Mike Ortega is in 4th place right now, and the odds are that he won’t hurdle two candidates to make it all the way to second. But because of what I’ve described above as the frontloading of (traditional) Republican votes in the Zero Precinct, Chris Gonzalez and Mike Nguyen may be fairly low hurdles! The traditional Republicans were going to vote for one of them; the Trumpublicans would have been more likely to vote for the more extreme populists Felix Rocha and NPP Ed Rushman. So I’d expect all three of those candidates at the bottom to rise proportionally compared to Gonzales — Ortega because of the prevalence of later-arriving Votes by Mail and eligible late-arriving Votes by Mail, as well as provisional ballots, conditional registrations, and damaged ballots, and the bottom two because of paper ballots, largely cast at the ROV’s office. By attending to the changes over time based on ballot type, we can get better projections.

So let’s look back at Precinct Zero:

Lou Correa had 53.43%
Christopher Gonzales had 11.78%
Mike Nguyen had 13.26%
Mike Ortega had 11.03%
Felix Rocha had 8.84%
Ed Rushman had 1.66%.

So we can calculate how the post-Zero Precinct ballots affected them over the court of Election Night

Correa lost 5.15% in the absentee ballot calculations after the Zero Precinct.
Gonzales gained 3.98% of the proportional vote.
Nguyen gained 0.27%.
Ortega lost 0.40%
Rocha gained 1.29%
Rushman stayed exactly the same.

OK, not a good day for my theory, but there’s still time! One thing I think this does show is that for traditional “Send in your ballot the first weekend Republicans, Lou Correa was often their candidate. I’m interested in know how much glossy campaign literature went to Republican households pre-election — as well as what it said, and if it was different from what was sent to Democrats.

Analysis of the 5:00 6/8 update will come later this evening!


First, we’ve started a whole new post for David Dodson’s race, given that it he’s currently in the money for the runoff!

No serious changes in the statewide races. Andrew Do is still out of the money for Treasurer. Marc Levine is about 1% behind in the race to run against Ricardo Lara for Insurance Commissioner. Sally Lieber is kicking butt in BOE-2 and will likely face a Republican in the runoff. David Dodson is a half a point (5,000 votes) ahead of Denis Bilodeau for BOE-4. That sort of thing.

In Congressional races, Greg Raths is still 10 points behind Young Kim in CA 40 in the race to reach the runoff against Democrat Asif Mahmood, who has 40%. I really have to wonder whether Raths voters will come out the Establishment Republican Kim in the runoff, rather than avoiding letting her get entrenched in the position so that Raths can run again. Kim is killing him by 37% in the San Bernardino part of the district and by 25 in the tiny Riverside portion. This is supposed to be THE Republican district in OC, too!

Michelle Steel is 6 points up on Jay Chen in CA-45, but that can be surmounted in the larger November runoff. Not a whole lot of movement in CA-46; Correa’s in the runoff and Ortega is still in 4th. Porter vs. Baugh in CA-47, and Vern has yet to release the Baugh File Kraken. In CA-49, Lisa Bartlett is 8% behind Brian Maryott in take on Mike Levin.

In State Senate races, it’s Bob Archuleta vs. Republican Mitch Clemons in SD-30. Barf, barf, barf. SD-34 is the worst-drawn district around. Barf. No significant changes in them or our other districts.

Assembly races, Supervisorial races, and the rest seem stable. For OCDE Superintendent, Mijares is ahead of Bean by just under 10, which I hope stands up.



We’re changing this feed into reverse chronological order, so that the freshest news is on top!


The results of the 2022 California primary’s will start rolling in at 8 pm tonight — and OJB will be with you for the updates every starting from 9:35 until midnight or 1 a.m., whenever they stop! — and if the past is any guide lots of people will be confused by them! In fact, there a good argument that the “Stop the Steal” controversies are largely about the completely explicable order that ballots get reported. So to keep you from being confused and storming whatever it is you would otherwise storm — maybe ARTIC, the Cabal’s self-indulgence plan on behalf of the Angels? — let’s go over the various kinds of ballots that will have been cast in these elections. This is not a complete list, unless between now and when you read this I have looked it up. They include:

  1. Early arriving absentee ballots (that arrive a week or two before Election Day)
  2. Later absentee ballots that still arrive by Election Day
  3. Even later absentee ballots that are cast by Election Day, but arrive over the next two weeks
  4. Ballots cast at drop boxes
  5. Electronic ballots cast in person at polling places
  6. Paper ballots cast by voters at polling places
  7. Replacement ballots created by poll workers to replace damaged ballots
  8. “Conditional Registration” provisional ballots
  9. Other Provisional Ballots

The first category of ballots that are counted are not as you might think, those cast at the Registrar of Voters’ Office, despite that they are closest to where the vote counting takes place. Instead, it is Category 3 — absentee ballots arriving a week or two (sorry, I don’t recall which it is, and the ROV office is too busy to clarify) before Election Day.

Why are they reported first? Because they’ve already been counted! Some time before Election Day, the ROV tabulates these ballots, and they are released all at once, in what I think they call “Precinct Zero.” (That’s what I call it, anyway!)

Now, whose ballots are disproportionately represented in Precinct Zero? Here I have to introduce you to an ironclad (or so) law of politics.

The Republican Party’s voters are either (1) uptight and organized and know exactly who they’re voting for, (2) retirees who know how to quickly find out who to vote for, or (3) fanatics who also know exactly who they’re voting for. (There’s some exaggeration there, but it’s a good guideline.)

The Democratic Party’s voters are either (1) busy and distracted professionals who will get around to voting when they have time, but ultimately will, (2) dirty hippies like this blog’s editors, or (3) political power freaks who have no ability to control the procrastinating dirty hippies. (Also some hyperbole there!) They tend to vote later.

So: the votes that get reported first tend to be disproportionally from more organized/fanatical Republicans — and of course they skew red! Over time, the others catch up, and that’s why they then slide towards blue.

NPP voters supposedly vote at some point as well, but in smaller numbers — except when the NPP are Trumpublicans who have fled the Republican Party, in which case see below!.


There is a school of thought that since 2020, Republicans will be refusing to do anything other than voting at the polls — and possibly demanding paper ballots! If that’s true, we could see a RED shift over the course of counting absentee ballots — with them acting like dirty hippie Democrats — but in some of the categories (like provisional ballots) and late-arriving absentee ballots, I think that Republicans are still far less likely to be represented.

The best analysis I can offer here is that traditional Republicans will probably follow the old pattern, while what I call “Trumpublicans” — right wing populists who (to exaggerate slightly) treat Trump’s every word as a command, a great local example being Debra Pauley — will have gone to the Registrar of Voters office to vote on the paper ballots available there, and then watched the election workers like hawks for any shenanigans. I don’t know how many of those people there were, but we’ll have some sense from the number of paper ballots compared to previous years. Luckily, one publication in OC has kept track of that sort of information — and it’s us! (Unluckily, I’m not going to jump into our archives and do the research quite yet….)

Either way — early Republicans vote or only early traditional Republican vote — don’t freak out by the results you’re about to see! They’re important — but, especially in close races — FAR from determinative!


I was caught off guard by the second update coming at 8:45 or so, so no discussion here yet!


The first thing that you have to remember is that if you’re looking at a district that crosses counties, the results presented above are only showing you the Orange Count share of the vote!

To see the results in all counties, you’ll want to go to the Secretary of State’s Election Results page. But note that this can be somewhat confusing, because it puts up results as soon as they come in and different counties may release their results at different rates.

To take an example of some interest to me and Vern: In OC, David Dodson is in second place besides Mike Schaefer. Schaefer has 39.35% of the vote, Dodson 15.11%, and Erik Peterson has 14.67%, with Denis Bilodeau in fourth with 10.79%. But statewide, Schaefer leads with 40.6% of the vote, with Dodson in second with15.9% , then Bilodeau with 13.8%, and Peterson with 9.5%. OK, that’s not a totally great example of discrepancies, but you can look at the vote in the five counties making up the district and see what is yet to come in! Oops, now Peterson’s ahead of him for 2nd place statewide by .01%, but there’s a slight possibility that that may not be a stable lead.


While things can change, we can make a few presumptions at this point about who makes the Top 2 (or wins outright, in county races) Let’s start with the county:


Spitzer has 62% of the vote, and a 42% lead over Hardin. Chehock is just under 10%, Jacobs just over 8%.


  • 5: Claudia Alvarez is at 58% and seems pretty safe
  • 9: Christopher Duff is at 56.6% and seems fairly safe
  • 11: Shawn Nelson is at 69% and seems quite safe
  • 21: Erin Beltran Rowe is at 69.3% and seems quite safe
  • 22: Brahim Baytieh is at 50.12% with Craig Kleffman at 32.2; coin flip for now as to runoff
  • 28: Eric Scarbrough is at 52.8% over Jessica Cha — not that safe
  • 30: Michelle Bell is at 40% with Peggy Huang at 33%, so we’ll have at least one runoff
  • 33: Steve McGreevy is over 80%, so he’s in
  • 45: Israel Claustro is at 73%, so he’s in

The only way to avoid getting a Deputy DA on the bench seems to be for the incumbent to die after the list of those DDAs chosen to ascend has been drawn up.


  • Mijares has 60% for Director of the OCDOE
  • On the BOE, though, Mari Barke has 58%, a 25% lead
  • Tim Shaw has 48%, a 15% lead
  • Lisa Sparks has 62%, a 24% lead

So that looks pretty much like the status quo, except with a further emboldened BOE.


All will go to runoffs.

District 2: Sarmiento at 32%, Kim Bernice Nguyen next at 24%. She could still be overtaken by Dumitru (18.5%) or Iglesias (16%), but it doesn’t seem likely.

District 4: Sunny Park 39.5%, Doug Chaffee 35%, Steve Vargas 25.5%. (Now watch Chaffee lurch right)

District 5: Foley has 47% (!), and will likely face Bates (just under 22%) rather than Harkey (17%.) Good result here!


Roughly half of the votes we’d likely expect have been counted. So a lot can change, but a lot probably won’t!

Statewide tidbits

  • Gavin Newsom has 59% of the vote; three other Dems combine for 2%. Ventresca was the 2nd place Dem!
  • Eleni Kounalakis is also above 50%, a bit under 53%
  • Shirley Weber has more votes than Newsom, but no Dem was taking any in her race
  • Lahnee Chen has some chance, with 36.5% of the vote, against Malia Cohen for the Controller seat
  • Supervisor Andrew Do looks unlikely to make the Top Two for Treasurer against Fiona Ma
  • Senator Marc Levine is half a point behind one Republican and half a point ahead of another for Insurance Comm’r

Fun with the Secretary of State’s Website:

  • Here’s something fun to watch over the next while: The Secretary of State’s “Close Contests” page, where you can for example see David Dodson trying to hold off Denis Bilodeau for the only competitive Board of Equalization seat (which happens to be ours!), two Republicans fighting for the chance to take on Attorney General Rob Bonta, Marc Levine neck-and-neck with a Republican for the right to face Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, and much more!
  • From this page you can:
    • check every statewide and district race
    • see maps of which counties voted which way on statewide races, plus some other maps
    • see a map on which counties have partially reported results, and which (and when) they last revised them
    • see a list of unprocessed ballots remaining in each county

Did Third Parties Get Their Jobs Done?

Do the Green Party and Peace & Freedom Party look likely to get 2% in a statewide election and thus hold onto their ballot status?

  • No 2% in the Governor’s race, where it’s clearly Newsom vs. Republican Brian Dahle
  • Mohammad Arif has 2.1% in the Lt. Gov’s race, where it’s Kounalakis vs. Republican Angela E. Underwood Jacobs
  • Gary Blenner has 2.6% in the Secretary of State’s race, where it’s Weber vs. Republican Rob Bernosky
  • Laura Wells has 3.5% in the Controller’s race, where Republican Lahnee Chen is up against Democrat Malia Cohen
  • Meghan Adams has 3.1% in the Treasurer’s Race, where it’s Fiona Ma vs. Jack Guerrero (with Andrew Do trailing!)
  • Dan Kapelovitz has 2.7% in the Attorney General race, one of the “close races” noted above
  • Nathalie Hrizi has 2.3% and Veronica Fimbres 2.0% in the Race for Insurance Commissioner, noted above.

So, while it’s not entirely in the bag, it looks like the third parties are likely OK for another four years.

How are Congressional Races going?

  • 38: Linda Sanchez will face Republican Eric Ching
  • 40: Democrat Asif Mahmood has 40% to Young Kim’s 34%, with Greg Raths trailing almost 10 points behind her!
  • 45: Michelle Steel, with a bit over 49%, will face Jay Chen with a bit over 41%. The runoff electorate will be more blue!
  • 46: Lou Correa got a bit over 48; he’ll probably face one of two Republicans, though late votes might save Mike Ortega
  • 47: Katie Porter has 51% and will face Scott Baugh, who is just under 31%; now you can send her money!
  • 49: Mike Levin is at 50% and will likely face Brian Maryott

And State Senate Races?

  • 30: Bob Archuleta will face Republican Mitch Clemons. The did about equally well, while the progressives split 28%
  • 32: 60/40 for the Republican; both make the runoff
  • 34: Tom Umberg leads Rhonda Shader by 11.5; both make the runoff
  • 36: Janet Nguyen leads Kim Carr by 14%; both make the runoff
  • 38: Dems get 55%; Catherine Blakespear will face Matt Gunderson

And the Assembly Races?

Soooo many of these!

  • 59: Phillip Chen will face write-in Leon Sit, or possibly me, if people pranked me!
  • 64: Sole Republican Raul Ortiz, with 36%, will face Blanca Pacheco; sympathies for Rosie
  • 67: DANGER! SQS leading Soo Yoo by only 5.5% in new district! To the rescue!
  • 68: Avelino, with 49%, to face Mike Tardif, with half that, but is likely studying “Anaheist”
  • 70: Diedre Thu-Ha Nguyen with 38.5%, will face Tri Ta; she was the sole Dem running
  • 71: Two Republicans, almost evenly split, both make the runoff, you’re on your own
  • 72: Judie Mancuso with 43.5%, will face Diane Dixon, about a point back
  • 73: Cottie Petrie-Norris and Steve Choi both advance; she leads him by 8.5%

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.)