Politics & Elections

Umberg-Nguyen close; ‘Blue Wave’ hit OC

LATEST RESULTS from the 2018 general election for the Garden Grove-Huntington Beach-Stanton-Westminster area.

The blue wave that washed Democrats into control of the U.S. House of Representatives is hitting a high tide in Orange County as well.

All seven Congressional seats serving Orange County were won by Democratic candidates in the Nov. 6 balloting, including the much-watched 48th District (Huntington Beach-Costa Mesa) post held by 30-year incumbent conservative firebrand Dana Rohrabacher, ousted by Harley Rouda.


The wave could end up engulfing even moderate Republican Janet Nguyen, state Senator from the 34th District. As of Tuesday afternoon at 5 p.m., Nguyen and Democrat Tom Umberg were locked in a tight race.

Umberg has a slight lead with 50.1 percent (127, 734 votes) to Nguyen’s 49.9 percent (126,995) overall, according to the California Secretary of State. In Orange County alone, Nguyen was leading by about 1,500 votes.

There are about 85,000 votes yet to count in Orange County, according to the Orange County Registrar of Voters. It’s not known just where those uncounted ballots are from.  The district runs from Anaheim in the north through


Garden Grove, Santa Ana and Westminster, and into Fountain Valley, and Huntington Beach, but it also includes a slice of Long Beach in Los Angeles County.

Nguyen, a former member of the Garden Grove City Council and an Orange County Supervisor, was elected to the senate seat in 2014 by a wide margin. She polled 58.1 percent of the vote against Democrat Jose Solario, despite the “blue” party having a large edge in voter registration. However, the 34th swung toward Hillary Clinton in 2016, giving her 58.5 percent of the vote.

In the 72nd state Assembly race, incumbent Republican Matthew Harper is trailing Democratic challenger Cottie Petrie-Norris by a margin of 52.5 percent to 47.5 percent, which translates to around 9,000 votes.  The district includes Irvine, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach and Costa Mesa.

In the Tribune’s coverage area of Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Stanton and Westminster, non-partisan races for mayor and city council are so far show some new faces to take office in December.

  • Garden Grove: George Brietigam will be the new councilman from District 1 (West Grove).
  • Huntington Beach: In the race for four spots, as of Tuesday (Nov. 13), the top four finishers are (in order) Mike Posey and Barbara Degleize (incumbents), Kim Carr and Erik Peterson (incumbent). Current councilman William “Billy” O’Connell is in sixth place.
  • Stanton: Gary Taylor will be the new councilman from District 3.
  • Westminster: Tai Do and Chi “Charlie” Nguyen will be the new councilmembers. There were no incumbents in this race.

For school boards, here are the likely new members.

  • Huntington Beach Union High School District: Diana Lee Carey, a former member of the Westminster City Council, is finishing second in a race for three seats.
  • Huntington Beach City School District: Diana Marks is finishing second in a race for three seats.
  • Westminster School District: In Trustee Area 2, Xavier Nguyen is the winner, and in Trustee Area 5, it appears that challenger Jeremy Khalaf has ousted incumbent Penny Loomer.




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