State Senate 37: John Moorlach leads Don Wagner with run-off possible
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Moorlach had 50.4 percent of the vote, compared to Wagner’s 44.1 percent. At first blush, that should be enough to avoid a run-off.
But, as Political Data Inc.’s Paul Mitchell has pointed out on Twitter, those percentages don’t include roughly a thousand votes in the tally. Presumably, a large number of those ballots are for write-in Democrat Louise Stewardson. When looking at the raw numbers, Moorlach’s 34,208 votes – out of 69,071 ballots cast –
drops him below 50 percent.
5,473 ballots left to count
According to the Orange County Registrar of Voters, 5,473 late absentee and provisional ballots are left to be counted.
Turnout in the 37th State Senate special election was 14 percent, according to unofficial results from the Orange County Registrar of Voters. Nearly all ballots – some 86 percent of those cast- were by mail.
Unofficial Tally from Orange County Elections
|JOHN M. W. MOORLACH (REP)||34,208||50.40%|
|DONALD P. WAGNER (REP)||29,987||44.10%|
|NAZ NAMAZI (REP)||2,359||3.50%|
|Louise Stewardson (W)||1,368||2.00%|
Don Wagner’s Downfall: Maui Junkets
Wagner, who substantially outspent his fellow Republicans, was weighed down by his frequent attendance at an infamous special interest junket held annually in Maui. As CalNewsroom.com reported earlier this month, Wagner has attended the Independent Voter Project’s Maui bash for the past three consecutive years.
In 2014, the Irvine lawmaker accepted $2,921.19 in unspecified travel gifts to attend the November conference that is funded by special interest groups and is organized by an out-of-state lobbyist.
But, just because Wagner has attended the lavish Maui conference for three consecutive years didn’t stop him from campaigning against Sacramento’s “lavish lifestyle.” In a campaign ad, Wagner attacked Sacramento politicians for that very thing.
“Sacramento doesn’t exist to allow politicians some lavish lifestyle,” Wagner, said in an ad posted on YouTube. “I’m running to solve problems and to bring common sense back to the golden state.”
In 2013, Wagner initially refused to answer questions about his attendance at the Maui junket. However, state gift reports disclosed in March 2014 confirmed that Wagner accepted $3,011.65 to attend the 2013 Maui junket.
In 2012, Wagner accepted $2,179.79 in accommodation, meals, and beverages from the Independent Voter Project, according to his annual financial disclosure form.
State Senate 37 Special Election Results
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story stated that Moorlach had an outright victory. But, as Political Data Inc.’s Paul Mitchell has pointed out, the write-in vote total puts Moorlach below the 50 percent plus one margin.