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Sanchez-Tran race could take days to call

November 2, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Democratic Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez led her opponent, Republican former state Assemblyman Van Tran, by a slim margin but it could take several days to get a definitive result.After the first round of mail-in ballot counts, she held a slim lead over Tran, with 47.7 percent to Tran's 46.8 percent. It could take several days to count a number of provisional ballots that were cast.

Sanchez told the crowd at her gathering in Santa Ana not to worry. "We've done this before. We did this 14 years ago," and assured them that every vote would be counted.

In 2008, Sanchez easily won her seat with almost 70 percent of the vote, but public disenchantment with Democratic incumbents over the failing economy coupled with a formidable opponent in Tran, a Vietnamese immigrant and former Assemblyman, has made for a close and, at times, nasty race. Both candidates have strong followings in the immigrant communities which make up the 47th District.

In county elections, Supervisor Shawn Nelson beat out Anaheim City Council Member Harry Sidhu in the Fourth District. Nelson filled the seat in June after former Supervisor Chris Norby moved to the State Assembly. The county district includes La Habra, Fullerton, Buena Park, Placentia and Anaheim.

Anaheim voters overwhelmingly voted to ban red light cameras in the city. Measure K, which would prohibit red light cameras from being installed at city intersections, passed with a wide margin.

Three challengers for the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees were poised to overtake incumbents, according to unofficial mail-in ballot tallies. John Alpay, Gary Pritchard and Lynn Hatton led against incumbents Ken Lopez-Maddox, Mike Winston and Larry Christensen.

The school district has been plagued by turmoil and parent unrest, fueling recall elections and a feud between dueling reform groups -- the Committee to Reform CUSD, which backed the incumbents, and the Capistrano Unified Children's First group, which backed a group of five challengers.

The Children's First group's Measure H also led with 60 percent of the vote. It would change the way trustees were elected to the board in the school district.

City News Service contributed to this report.


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