Neuroscientist Widens Lead in Orange County Congressional Race

SANTA ANA (CNS) - Neuroscientist Hans Keirstead increased his lead over fellow Democrat Harley Rouda to 129 votes in the race for second place and a spot on the November general election ballot in the 48th Congressional District, according to updated results released today by the Orange County Registrar of Voters.

Keirstead held a 45-vote lead over Rouda, a technology entrepreneur, entering Thursday's count. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Huntington Beach, is assured of finishing first.

Rohrabacher leads with 30.4 percent. Keirstead is second with 17.3 percent and Rouda 17.1 percent.

Undersheriff Don Barnes' percentage of the vote in the sheriff's race slipped to 50.6 percent from 50.7 percent, but he remained above the 50 percent- plus one threshold to avoid a runoff in November.

The other close race is for county supervisor in the Fourth District to succeed Supervisor Shawn Nelson. La Habra City Councilman Tim Shaw leads the field with 21.1 percent with Fullerton Mayor Doug Chaffee second at 20.6 percent and retired Orange County Fire Authority firefighter Joe Kerr third at 20 percent.

Shaw is 304 votes ahead of Chaffee. Kerr trails Chaffee by 319 votes.

Because no candidate will receive a majority of the votes, the top two finishers will meet in a November runoff in the nonpartisan race.

The Registrar of Voters received about 90,000 vote-by-mail ballots on Election Day. When factoring in ballots that arrived in the mail since Election Day and provisional ballots, there are about 180,000 ballots to count, said Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley.

In-person voting on Election Day at the polls was about 25 percent, Kelley said. The dropped-off vote-by-mail ballots on election day represented a 217 percent increase over 2014's primary, Kelley said.

Kelley had projected a 30 percent turnout for this year's primary, but he said it now appears 37 to 38 percent of registered voters cast a ballot.

Photo: Getty Images

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