One Republican claimed victory in a local election for state Assembly, while another remained locked in a tight battle Wednesday.
With all precincts reporting tallies from Tuesday’s voting, Tyler Diep — the Republican vice mayor of Westminster — had received 54.2% of the vote in the 72nd Assembly District, which includes Fountain Valley and a portion of Huntington Beach.
His opponent, Huntington Beach Democrat Josh Lowenthal, came up short with 45.8%.
“Thank you to my parents, friends, staff, volunteers and supporters,” Diep wrote on his Facebook page Wednesday. “I’m grateful to those that voted for me, and to those that did not, I will work hard to gain your support.”
Lowenthal — a business executive and son of Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) — expressed thanks to his supporters “for believing in me, supporting me, embracing change in Orange County.”
“I’m so proud of the campaign we ran together,” he wrote on Facebook. “And while I won’t be able to represent you in Sacramento, I’m still here and will not stop doing what I can to make our quality of life better. There is lots of work to do.”
Meanwhile, 74th District incumbent Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach) had a slight advantage over his opponent, Laguna Beach Democrat Cottie Petrie-Norris. With all precincts reporting, his lead was 436 votes, or 50.2% to 49.8%.
The 74th District includes Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach and part of Huntington Beach.
Petrie-Norris wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday that the race was “still too close to call.”
About 420,000 ballots were left to be tabulated countywide, according to the Orange County registrar of voters office. The next update is scheduled for Thursday evening.
Harper also noted that there were plenty of outstanding ballots to be taken into account, but he expressed confidence that his lead would hold up.
“Historically, late absentees will usually match early absentees and, if that’s the case, then we’ll probably have a widening margin. I feel pretty good about it,” he said.
“This has been a watershed election for Orange County,” Petrie-Norris said in a later statement. “We have seen record mobilization, record activism and record levels of voter participation. This is an incredibly exciting moment, and we’re looking forward to every vote being counted.”
Vote totals and percentages
72nd Assembly District
Tyler Diep: 54,931 (54.2%)
Josh Lowenthal: 46,381 (45.8%)
74th Assembly District
Matthew Harper (incumbent): 61,754 (50.2%)
Cottie Petrie-Norris: 61,318 (49.8%)
Source: Orange County registrar of voters office, with all precincts reporting