Mayor and City Council
Irvine’s heated election season is officially at an end, for now.
While some votes are still being tallied, it is safe to conclude that incumbent mayor Don Wagner has been re-elected to serve another two-year term in the city’s highest political post. Irvine will also welcome two new faces to the Irvine City Council: Anthony Kuo and Farrah Kahn.
Kuo is a lifelong resident of Irvine and currently serves on its planning commission. He was backed by Mayor Wagner as well as City Councilwoman Christina Shea.
Kahn has been a longtime volunteer for Irvine schools and formerly served on the city’s Community Service Commission. Kahn was backed by former Irvine mayors Suhkee Kang and Beth Krom. (Krom has announced her candidacy for the Orange County Board of Supervisors.)
Congress: Winner of 45th District yet to be determined
On election night, incumbent Republican Congresswoman Mimi Walters looked to win re-election against her Democrat challenger Katie Porter in the 45th congressional race, which represents Irvine and other parts of central Orange County.
However, Porter has since pulled ahead of Walters as late ballots continue to be counted following the election. Porter now leads Walters by approximately 3,800 votes.
This congressional race was one of the most hotly contested and expensive political races in the country. Democrats hoped to flip the historically suburban Republican seat while the GOP viewed protecting the seat has a way of fending off a “blue wave” in Orange County and beyond.
Walters has yet to concede the race to Porter, a protégé of Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.
We will update this post when additional information becomes available.
New Sheriff and District Attorney Elected
Two new faces were elected to the top law enforcement posts in Orange County on Tuesday night.
Undersheriff Don Barnes was elected to his first term as sheriff, replacing retiring Sandra Hutchens. Barnes was the favorite in the contest defeating opponent Duke Nguyen with 55.4 percent of the vote to 44.6 percent.
And, in possibly the biggest upset of the night, Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer defeated 20-year incumbent District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.
Spitzer, a former employee of the DA’s office, ran an aggressive campaign that challenged the incumbent’s tenure in office. As of Nov. 14, Spitzer holds 53.3 percent of the vote.
Around and Outside of Irvine
Two other highly anticipated congressional races in Orange County were decided Tuesday night.
In possibly the most watched race in the nation, incumbent Republican Dana Rohrabacher is trailing Democrat challenger Harley Rouda.
Rohrabacher has served in congress for three decades but faced not only a significant challenge from Democrats this year, but also faced a strong primary challenge from another Republican, former OC GOP chair Scott Baugh. The congressman was viewed by many as the most vulnerable incumbent Republican in California.
As of Nov. 14 at 8:35 p.m., Rouda led Rohrabacher by a margin of about 12,962 votes, with 52.7 percent of the vote to Rohrabacher’s 47.3 percent. Rohrabacher has yet to concede this race.
In a similarly followed race, Republican Young Kim and Democrat Gil Cisneros are still running neck-to-neck for California’s 39th Congressional district where long-serving Republican Congressman Ed Royce is retiring.
This is another race that has garnered national attention where Democrat hopes were high that they could flip the seat from red to blue. Kim is ahead by a slim margin of 122 votes. If these results hold, Kim would be the first Korean American women to serve in congress.
*** This post was lasted update Nov. 15 at 11:18 a.m.