By Collin Breaux
Ahead of an Orange County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 6, the Orange County Registrar of Voters is weighing whether to make election results official beforehand.
Though results were still unofficial as of this post, Registrar Bob Page said in an email sent Thursday, Dec. 1, to city clerks and school and special district representatives that he “thinks” he will certify results before the Tuesday meeting.
An item to receive and file the certification of results is on the Supervisor’s meeting agenda for Tuesday and was prepared by Page so that, if he does certify results beforehand, the board could declare winners in the races for their offices.
“I have not seen anything yet with the audits that would cause me to pull the item off the agenda,” Page said in the email to the local municipal officials, a copy of which was provided to The Capistrano Dispatch.
There are still about 100 ballots to process, as of this post.
“We are working to complete our two random hand-count audits to ensure the accuracy of the unofficial results that are posted,” Page said.
As of Friday, Dec. 2, Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley remained poised to retain her seat with 51.3% (116,105) of votes. Challenger State Sen. Patricia Bates conceded on Nov. 18 and had 110,238 (48.7%) of votes.
In the State Senate race for District 38, Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear is also the projected winner, defeating Matt Gunderson by receiving 52.2% (190,783) of the vote, the latest election results from the state show. Gunderson conceded on Nov. 16.
As for the 36th State Senate District, which includes Dana Point and San Clemente, Assemblymember Janet Nguyen remained the projected winner in the race against Huntington Beach Councilmember Kim Carr, holding onto a strong lead with 56.9% of the vote.
As of Friday, incumbent Republican Laurie Davies was set to hold on to her seat in the 74th State Assembly District with 52.6% (91,568) of the votes, while her Democratic challenger, San Clemente Mayor Pro Tem Chris Duncan, reportedly had 47.4% (82,630).
Blakespear, Nguyen and Davies, along with their fellow California lawmakers, are scheduled to be sworn into the State Legislature during a ceremony held at the State Capitol on Monday, Dec. 5.
Davies said the ceremony will be nice “for those of us that were elected in 2020” since COVID-19 restrictions prohibited a ceremony at the Capitol.”
“It’ll be nice to be able to experience the true ceremonial process and to be able to have our family and loved ones be there this time,” Davies said. “It’s a very humbling experience to know that you have the opportunity to serve your district, as well as your state, and create policy that would be beneficial to all of them. I’m very grateful and blessed to be able to serve for another two years.”
In an email sent to campaign supporters on Tuesday, Nov. 29, Blakespear said constituents can view a live-streamed video of the ceremony at senate.ca.gov.
Blakespear has also spent her days before the ceremony saying goodbye to her role as Encinitas’ mayor and councilmember.
“Being mayor of the City of Encinitas has been the honor of my lifetime. Our family has lived in Encinitas for a century, and I’m so grateful for having had the opportunity to carry the baton of leadership here for the short eight years I’ve been in office,” Blakespear said.
“This job has certainly had its challenges and lessons,” she continued. “Encinitas is blessed with a highly engaged and vocal population. Overall, it’s been an extremely productive adventure, including transformative transportation and infrastructure improvements, and an energized focus on being the best version of a city that leads with our compassionate heart, and a welcoming spirit.”
Nguyen was unavailable to provide a comment as of this post.
The Associated Press has already called the race for California’s 49th Congressional District that has Rep. Mike Levin projected to win his bid for reelection and secure the seat for another two years.
With 52.6% (153,370) of the vote, Levin defeated former San Juan Capistrano Councilmember Brian Maryott in what was their second matchup in as many elections.
Victor Cabral (14.26%), Mark Enmeier (13.69%) and incumbent Steve Knoblock (12.88%) remained the top candidates for three open seats on the San Clemente City Council. As of Thursday afternoon, Dec. 1, Knoblock’s lead over Donna Vidrine for the third open seat was separated by only 23 votes.
In San Juan Capistrano, John Campbell maintained his wide lead at 49.55% (1,526) of the votes to represent the city’s District 3 over the other two candidates—Paul Lopez and Cody Martin.
As of Friday afternoon, Michael Parham held his lead on Kira Davis in the Capistrano Unified School District’s Board of Trustee Area 2 race, garnering 10,179 (45.65%) votes.
In CUSD’s Area 4 race, Gary Pritchard had maintained his lead over James Glantz and Darin Patel, earning 49.28% (9,812) of the votes. And in Area 7, incumbent Trustee Judy Bullockus led her race over Jeannette Contreras with 54.28% (11,242) of the votes.
County elections officials must report their final results to the Secretary of State by Dec. 9.
Breeana Greenberg and C. Jayden Smith contributed to this report.
Collin Breaux covers San Juan Capistrano and other South Orange County news as the City Editor for The Capistrano Dispatch. Before moving to California, he covered Hurricane Michael, politics and education in Panama City, Florida. He can be reached by email at email@example.com.