By Breeana Greenberg
Early election results had Democratic incumbent Katrina Foley leading against her Republican opponent, State Sen. Patricia Bates, in the tight race to represent Orange County’s 5th Supervisorial District.
Unofficial results from the Orange County Registrar of Voters as of early Wednesday morning, Nov. 9, showed Foley with 50.93% (75,327) of the votes, while Bates, a former board supervisor, had 49.07% (72,583) of the votes.
“I’m so grateful to my community of volunteers and the coalition of unlikely allies that I brought together to be able to show Orange County that we can really lead and represent all residents,” Foley said late Tuesday night, when she led by a wider margin.
The race tightened as the votes continued to be counted through Election Night and the following morning, with unofficial results earlier in the evening showing Foley ahead of Bates with 56.63% of the vote, putting Bates at 43.37%.
The Orange County Registrar of Voters was scheduled to post updated results on Wednesday afternoon, after San Clemente Times went to print. Updates to this story and the SC Times’ ongoing coverage of other local Midterm Elections will continue to be posted online.
Anticipating a win, Foley said that South Orange County residents are going to “have a representative that’s very active and responsive and is going to immediately drill down on some of the lingering issues that I know have been trouble for the community.”
Looking forward to a potential second term representing South Orange County, Foley highlighted coastal erosion—namely, its effects on the railroad tracks—fire mitigation and issues related to homelessness as main issues on which she’d like to focus.
As of press time, Bates had not responded to requests for comment.
In the lead-up to the race, Foley and Bates had cumulatively spent $1.35 million in the race for the District 5 seat.
In the race for the District 4 seat between Sunny Park and incumbent Board Supervisor Doug Chaffee, the two collectively had spent more than $1.62 million, while candidates in the District 2 race—Vicente Sarmiento and Kim Bernice Nguyen—collectively had spent $474,405.
Based on the latest campaign finance filings, or 460 Forms, with the California Secretary of State’s office—which covered all contributions and campaign expenditures up until Oct. 22—Bates had raised about $688,607, slightly more than Foley’s $665,695.
As of late October, Foley had outspent Bates by roughly $76,000. On their respective 460 forms, Foley reported spending roughly $734,908 on her campaign, while Bates spent roughly $658,958.
County elections officials across the state are expected to certify all election results by Dec. 8.
Breeana Greenberg is the city reporter for the Dana Point Times. She graduated from Chapman University with a bachelor of arts degree in English. Before joining Picket Fence Media, she worked as a freelance reporter with the Laguna Beach Independent. Breeana can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org