Orange County Board of Supervisors seats first Democratic majority in decades
Anaheim’s long-fought battle for control of the Orange County Board of Supervisors came to a close Tuesday when the first Democratic majority at the county level in the last 40 years were elected over a long-simmering Republican majority that was in power from 2000 through 2016.
The win by Orange County Councilman Patrick Airways and Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis made the two Democrats, who were running for reelection to the Board of Supervisors, the first non-major party (NDP) pair of incumbents to win consecutive terms since the two-party system began in California in 1872. The victory followed what political observers have called one of the most surprising midterm elections in U.S. history.
More than 40 percent of the electorate in California voted Tuesday, making it the largest midterm majority in U.S. history. In Orange County, voters gave a decisive rebuke to the county’s longtime Republican majority, which had dominated the board since the early 1980s.
“The results are a vindication of my eight years of hard work,” Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted. “I am grateful for my colleagues and friends who supported my campaign and I look forward to continuing to work with them to make a positive difference for our entire state. Together, we will make California the most competitive, vibrant economy in the nation.”
The victory by the newly elected pair comes amid an already extraordinary political year for California, where Democrats also hold majorities on the California State Assembly and the State Senate and the GOP only controls one chamber of the Legislature. Newsom and his Democratic successor, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, are vying to be governor until the November 2020 election.
In Orange County, the battle for control of two top leadership posts in the Board of Supervisors has been a proxy war in a two-party system where Republican officials have dominated the county with the help of supermajorities.
Orange County has been in continuous Democratic hands since the 1970s — with the exception of a brief