Friday, November 9, 2018

Election 2018: Tony Rauckauckas issues memo to staff as his bid for DA fades

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With about a third of all votes still to be counted from Orange County’s Nov. 6 midterm election, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas has issued an internal memo that indicates he believes he will not win re-election.

The Nov. 7 memo comes as the ongoing ballot count by the Registrar of Voters shows Supervisor Todd Spitzer’s lead in the DA’s race continuing to grow.

As of late Friday, Spitzer led Rackauckas 53.1 percent to 46.9 percent. In raw numbers, Spitzer gained 3,427 votes after ballots were counted Friday.

That trend hasn’t shifted much since election day, a fact reflected in Rackauckas’ memo.

Addressed to “Prosecutors, Investigators, Administrators and Support Staff,” Rackauckas offers words of thanks to his staff, some of whom he has worked with since first being elected District Attorney in 1998. He also acknowledges his position in the current race, writing, “I am sure that by now you have heard about the election results.” He ends partly in past tense, writing, “I am very proud to have worked with you and I expect our greatness to continue.”

As of late Friday Rackauckas had not offered a public concession. Spitzer, late Friday, said he also has not been contacted by Rackauckas, but is planning for a smooth transition on Jan. 1.

“This can’t be about the election,” Spitzer said. “This has to be about professionalism at this point.”

Updated vote counts in other races released Friday also show Democrats continuing to do well, or improve their positions, in four closely watched House districts.

In the 48th Congressional District, Democrat challenger Harley Rouda saw his lead over longtime GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher grow by 2,572 votes, and he now holds 51.8 percent of the vote.

In the 45th, Republican incumbent Rep. Mimi Walters has seen her lead over Democratic challenger Katie Porter shrink steadily since Election Day, a trend that was repeated Friday when Porter gained 2,017 votes. Walters now holds 50.5 percent of the vote.

In the 39th, Republican Young Kim also saw her lead over Democrat Gil Cisneros shrink by 1,202 votes, and Kim now holds 50.8 percent of the vote.

In another close race, for the 74th Assembly District, Democrat challenger Cottie Petrie-Norris saw her lead over incumbent Republican Matt Harper grow by 1,022 votes. Petrie-Norris now holds 50.6 percent of the vote.

Out of 722,212 votes cast in the midterm, an estimated 366,000 remain to be counted, including late mail-in ballots, absentees and provisional ballots.

In recent elections, late vote counts in Orange County typically have favored Democrats by about 2 percent.


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