Dave Min boosts slim lead over Katrina Foley for second spot on November ballot in 37th state Senate District

Candidates for the 37th state Senate District seat are, from left, incumbent John Moorlach, Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley and UC Irvine law professor Dave Min.
(File Photos)

As Tuesday’s primary election spilled into Wednesday as votes continued to be counted, the three candidates for the 37th state Senate District seat — Republican incumbent John Moorlach and Democrats Dave Min and Katrina Foley — waited to see who would compete against Moorlach in November’s general election.

Moorlach, of Costa Mesa, had easily nailed down the first of two spots available on the Nov. 3 ballot even before the latest count posted by the Orange County registrar of voters office at 5 p.m. Wednesday, showing him with 49.7% of the primary vote.

In the race for second, Min increased his small lead, with 25.8% of the vote to Foley’s 24.5%.

The registrar of voters website said vote-by-mail and vote center ballots were not yet fully reported.

Moorlach ended his Election Night watch party with Orange County Republicans around midnight and got home in time to catch some shuteye before an early flight to Sacramento for a morning meeting Wednesday.

“Just landed a little while ago and I’m already back to work,” Moorlach said at about noon.

“If we make it out of the primary, it’ll be because we didn’t stop fighting, and that’s the kind of public official I’ll be for people at the state level,” Foley, the mayor of Costa Mesa, said Wednesday morning.

Foley said she was planning to turn her phone ringer off for the day, rest and decompress alongside her husband.

On Tuesday, instead of spending the evening chairing the Costa Mesa City Council as usual, she attended an election watch party at the Orange County Labor Federation hall in Orange. She said she went home around 10 p.m. and watched her vote numbers.

The watch party for Min, a UC Irvine law professor, doubled as his birthday party.

“We feel cautiously optimistic,” Min tweeted Wednesday morning with crossed fingers emojis. “But there are still ... ballots to be counted.”

The 37th District includes Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Tustin, Orange, Villa Park and Anaheim.

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5:29 p.m. March 4, 2020: This article was originally published at 2:11 p.m. and has been updated with new information.