All the ballots have been counted in the 37th Senate District special election, and former Supervisor John Moorlach is the winner.
Either Moorlach or Assemblyman Don Wagner had to garner 50%-plus-1 to win the election outright and avoid a May run-off. Moorlach inched over that threshold after the final update on Election Night with 50.4 percent of the vote.
There still remained about 8,000 late and provisional ballots to count, leaving open the mathematical possibility that Moorlach would sink below 50% and trigger a run-off. While his lead constricted slightly to 50.3%, that as far as it went.
Moorlach told the OC Register:
“I have no illusions of grandeur,” said Moorlach, 59. “But I have 20 years of experience and I do have relationships. I’ve had a relationship with the governor since he was attorney general, and he understands my concerns. I look forward to working with him and to doing what I can to improve the state.
Assemblyman Don Wagner issued this statement on the result:
“Thank you to everyone who supported my campaign. I am especially grateful to my family for their unwavering love and support throughout this effort. I want to congratulate John Moorlach on his victory. While we came up short, our strong showing demonstrates that the people of Orange County share my belief that only through advancing pro-growth economic policies and reducing the size and scope of government will we get California back on track. I’ll continue to fight for these values throughout the remainder of my term in the Assembly, and look forward to working with John in Sacramento towards advancing the reforms I truly believe will fix our great state.”
I hope this spirit of unity prevails over the Robespierre-esque tendencies of some elements in the party who are more interest in party purging than party building. The only certain outcome of this race was that a conservative would be elected.
Here’s wishing Senator-elect John Moorlach good luck and Godspeed in the state Senate. It’s my hope that in addition to the certain attention to the policy-side of the office, he will also work to fully realize 37th Senate District’s potential as a resource for building Republican ranks in the legislature.