Santa Ana councilwoman claims symbolic victory in run-up to November O.C. supervisor race

Michele Martinez will face O.C. Supervisor Andrew Do in the November runoff for Do's 1st District seat.
(Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez has won a symbolic victory over incumbent Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do as they both head to a November runoff for his 1st District seat.

After weeks of counting provisional ballots from the June 7 primary, Martinez gained 38.1% of the vote compared with 34.3% for Do, according to the Orange County Registrar of Voters. She got more votes despite the fact that Do had a clear advantage in fundraising heading into the primary: $435,000 to almost $70,000 for Martinez.

The two politicians will now compete for voters and dollars from the politically active Vietnamese American electorate, along with Latinos, who experts say could turn out in record numbers for the presidential election, inspired by Republican candidate Donald Trump’s harsh rhetoric on immigration.

“We are excited and we know what we have to do to win,” Martinez said Tuesday. “Me being first shows this race is winnable. And being No. 1 will help me raise more money.”

She lists her local roots as an advantage, having grown up in Santa Ana, a city with the highest number of constituents in the 1st District — a diverse area that also includes Garden Grove, Westminster and parts of Fountain Valley.


Countywide, the 1st District is the most liberal district, with Democrats holding a 13-percentage-point lead over Republicans in voter registration, according to the registrar’s office.

If Martinez defeats Do in the November election, she would be the only Democrat on a currently all-Republican board.

Late Tuesday, Matt Stockton, Do’s campaign manager, said his team intends to run “an aggressive campaign reaching out to every voter across the First District.”

“The precise win number will depend on turnout but the win formula is simpler than that -- we plan to share Supervisor Do’s track record of fighting crime, taking real steps to end homelessness, cut taxes, increase government accountability and job opportunities for every hard-working family,” Stockton said. “His track record is simply unmatched.”

Twitter: @newsterrier


9:44 p.m.: This article was updated with comments from Do’s campaign manager.

This article was originally published at 4:22 p.m.