Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley declared victory Wednesday, ensuring Democrats will have a majority on the nonpartisan Orange County Board of Supervisors for the first time in memory.
Foley’s lead over Republican state Sen. Patricia Bates, a former supervisor, swelled from 3,008 votes to 4,600 on Wednesday, 51.07%-48.93%, as the Registrar of Voters tallied most of the ballots put in drop boxes before Election Day. Those ballots have tended to favor Democrats.
“It’s statistically impossible” for Bates to catch up, Foley told City News Service. “She’d have to get 70% of the vote, which she hasn’t gotten in any drop.”
Foley said she was “very grateful” for the victory.
A Democratic majority on the board may lead to more funding from the state, Foley said. Orange County is one of the top counties to send money to the state and one of the lowest in terms of funding back.
“Now maybe we will have a voice for funding and initiatives in Sacramento and we won’t be ignored as one of the top donors to the Sacramento budget,” Foley said. “That’s the most significant difference.”
Otherwise, the board has been working together on tackling homelessness and infrastructure needs, Foley said.
“I think I’ll have more support for climate change planning that I didn’t have before,” Foley said.
Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairman Doug Chaffee defeated fellow Democrat Sunny Park, the mayor of Buena Park, 56%-44%, in the 4th District.
Santa Ana Mayor Vicente Sarmiento saw his 1,586-vote lead over Garden Grove City Councilwoman Kim Bernice Nguyen increase to 2,912 on Wednesday in the 2nd District race. Sarmiento leads 51.59%-48.41%.
Rep. Katie Porter, D-Irvine, declared victory Wednesday in the 47th Congressional District after expanding her lead over Republican businessman Scott Baugh, a former Orange County Republican chairman, from 3,772 votes to 6,920 on Wednesday. She is now ahead 51.37% to 48.63%.
“Nobody wins elections alone,” Porter said in a statement. “Tonight’s results wouldn’t have been possible without the hundreds of grassroots supporters who knocked doors, made calls, and helped turn people out to our events. I’m proud of the work we did together, and the work our team will continue to do in Congress to put Orange County families first.”
Rep. Mike Levin, D-Dana Point, was assured victory Wednesday in the 49th Congressional District, defeating Republican Brian Maryott, 52.6%-47.4% in a district which also includes portions of San Diego County.
“With the vast majority of votes tabulated and the race called in our favor, it is with great honor and humility that I will return to serve California’s 49th District in the United States House of Representatives again,” Levin said in a statement.
“Serving this beautiful district and its talented residents has been a remarkable opportunity. … I am particularly honored to have been able to work across the aisle to build bipartisan, common-sense coalitions to tackle many of these issues.”
Levin also offered a thank you to Maryott, a former San Juan Capistrano mayor.
“A also want to thank Brian Maryott,” Levin said. “A thriving democracy requires competition for citizens’ votes, and to those who voted for Mr. Maryott, I want to reassure you that my door is always open. I welcome opportunities to work together because the best legislation is always that with the broadest input.”
The Orange County Registrar has only 1,243 ballots dropped off at vote centers left to process. There are 1,110 vote-by-mail ballots received on or before election day left. There are 24,313 ballots put in the mail that arrived after Election Day left to count.
The Registrar has 7,194 provisional ballots left to process, 22,999 ballots put in drop boxes still to count and 2,308 ballots that had errors that prompted election officials to create duplicates, which can be run through machines and counted.