Hard-Fought Orange County Supervisor Race Winds Down

March 9, 2021 Updated: March 9, 2021

Orange County Board of Supervisors candidates were gearing up for election night Tuesday night as officials prepared to count ballots.

With polls closing at 8 p.m., the Orange County Registrar of Voters will provide its first unofficial results announcement at 8:05 p.m., spokesperson Jackie Wu told The Epoch Times.

Candidates for the vacant District 2 seat include: Costa Mesa Valley Mayor Katrina Foley, Fountain Valley Mayor Michael Vo, Newport Beach Councilman Kevin Muldoon, former state senator John Moorlach, and tax attorney Janet Rappaport.

Moorlach, who is also a former District 2 senator, jokingly The Epoch Times that he was on “pins and needles” as far as the results, but added he has received plenty of election day support.

“This morning I’ve just been getting a flurry of text messages of encouragement,” Moorlach told The Epoch Times March 9. “I’ve been trying to respond to those. I plan on going to the headquarters…but I’ve been working here at my home office right now attacking emails and trying to stay up with the volume.”

Moorlach has been campaigning for months, and said his team has supported his efforts by working the phone lines and knocking on doors.

“It’s not my first rodeo,” he said. “But it has certainly been one where I’ve received a lot of over-the- top, anti-Moorlach mail pieces from the employee unions. So that’s been a little frustrating, but I think it’s starting to backfire, I think a lot of people have had enough.”

He continued, “Other than that, we’ve done the traditional effort. Obviously with COVID we’ve made phone calls, over 300,000. A lot of people that were willing to walk, walked on the weekends. But the key now is just to get out the vote.”

Moorlach said that if he wins, he’ll start working March 10, lining up appointments and meeting with key contacts to catch up to where he was six years ago, when he left the board after being elected into the state senate.

Foley told City News Service that she felt good about her chances of winning.

“I hope I don’t have a blind spot,” she said. “But I feel we’ve had an overwhelming number of volunteers participate. Up to 750 volunteers. These are committed volunteers.”

She said she had a phone bank this past weekend with 180 volunteers.

“I’ve called thousands of voters myself so it feels good,” she said.

Wu also told The Epoch Times that while they cannot estimate voter turnout yet, the registrar’s office is experiencing an increase in vote-by-mail ballots.

“In comparison to in-person voting, there’s more vote-by-mail voters. That is normal in a special election and it could also be related to COVID-19 health and safety guidelines,” Wu said.

“Right now, the current turnout is just under 23 percent,” Wu said the morning of Mar.9. “Average voter turnout in a special election is usually between 20 to 30 percent, so it’s in line with past special election turnout.”

The Registrar of Voters will certify the results about two weeks from election day, Wu said, and then the Board of Supervisors will hold a vote to formally adopt the results, which would officially turn the winner of the election into a supervisor.  It’s likely to happen March 23.

—With files from City News Service

Contact Drew Van Voorhis at Drew.VanVoorhis@epochtimesca.com

Follow Drew on Twitter: @DrewVanVoorhis