Primary elections offer a snapshot of voter sentiment, and in California’s open 47th congressional district the earliest tally suggests voters are leaning toward three candidates, Republican Scott Baugh and Democrats State Sen. Dave Min and Joanna Weiss, to fill the two-candidate ballot in the Nov. 5 General Election.

A tally of mail-in ballots announced by the Orange County Registrar of Voters shortly after polls closed at 8 p.m. showed Baugh, Min and Weiss far ahead of seven others who hope to represent a district that runs along the coast from Huntington Beach through Laguna Beach and inland into Costa Mesa and Irvine.

Other candidates include Republicans Max Ukropina, a business owner and Long Pham, a nuclear engineer; Democrats Boyd Roberts, a real estate broker and Shariq Zaidi, a security officer; and three who have declared no party preference — Terry Crandall, an economics professor, Tom McGrath, a chemical engineer and Bill Smith, a businessman.

In the first batch of votes tallied, Ukropina was in fourth place.

The early count is close enough that it’s possible the top two candidates won’t be known for several days. Results will continue to be tallied throughout Tuesday night and updated every weekday until all ballots are counted. Check our website,, for updated results and more election coverage.

The battle to replace CA-47 incumbent Rep. Katie Porter, a Democrat who is running for U.S. Senate, has been bruising. Weiss, an attorney and founder of the Women for American Values and Ethics (WAVE), a progressive nonprofit focused on public education and gun safety, has run a heavy rotation of TV commercials highlighting video from Min’s 2023 arrest in Sacramento for driving under the influence. Min, who has served in the California Senate since 2020 and previously taught at UCI Law, has run TV ads claiming Weiss was funding her campaign with money her husband made by defending the Catholic Church against charges of child abuse.

Millions of dollars have been funneled into this race, including from the pro-abortion rights group EMILY’s List and pro-Israel lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which funded anti-Min ads that reference his DUI.

Min then accused Weiss of taking money from prominent “MAGA” Republican donors who give to AIPAC, alleging “it’s clear her allegiances lie far from the Democratic values she claims to represent.”

Baugh, who largely stayed quiet as the Democratic frontrunners duked it out on the airwaves, is expected to make it out of the primary. He boasts a large cash reserve, strong insider support and name ID advantage.

Baugh, a former head of the Republican Party of Orange County and a former State Assembly member, was indicted in 1996 by an Orange County Grand Jury on charges related to his State Assembly election. He later paid civil fines of nearly $48,000.

Republicans are counting on Baugh to flip the seat in November. In 2022 he was defeated by Porter by 3.4 percentage points. But in that race Baugh had a substantially smaller war chest, and Porter’s absence this time around may up his chances.

If Baugh makes it out of the primary, he will likely face a much tougher challenge in November. Once the Democratic base consolidates behind either Min or Weiss, Baugh could be at a disadvantage, especially as Democrats turn out in higher numbers in presidential elections and they account for the largest share of all registered voters in the district.

CA-47, one of several outstanding swing seats in the country that is widely considered to be instrumental in whether Republicans can keep control of the House, is the only open congressional seat in Orange County.