Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer held a narrow lead Tuesday evening in his bid to unseat his former boss, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.

With about half of precincts reporting, Spitzer had nearly 53 percent of the vote, compared to 47 percent for the incumbent.

Spitzer was once considered next in line to succeed Rackauckas, who was grooming him to take over until the two had a public falling out in 2010 when Rackauckas fired him.

The two have traded allegations of corruption and ethical lapses ever since.

Rackauckas, who was elected in 1998, is serving his fourth term. He has been rocked by allegations of prosecutorial misconduct in recent years, most notably in the case against Scott Dekraai, the worst mass killer in the county’s history.

Rackauckas’ office was booted off the prosecution of Dekraai when a judge found outrageous governmental misconduct in the handling of jailhouse informants in Dekraai’s case. Dekraai, who pleaded guilty, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole when an Orange County Superior Court judge removed the death sentence as an option due to continued allegations of misuse of jailhouse snitches.

Now Rackauckas’ office is fighting another legal battle involving allegations of misconduct in the prosecution of Josh Waring, the son of a former “Real Housewives of Orange County,” who is charged with attempted murder. An Orange County sheriff’s contractor has acknowledged in the Waring case that a glitch in an upgrade of software led authorities to improperly record phone calls of jail inmates to their attorneys.

Rackauckas defends his work as D.A., highlighting what he calls aggressive efforts by his office to crack down on gang members and human traffickers and pioneering advancements in the use of DNA evidence in criminal prosecutions.

Spitzer touts his career in public service, serving not just as a county supervisor and a prosecutor, but also spending time in the state Assembly and as a school teacher and school board member. He said wants to restore “faith and trust in our law enforcement and justice system.”

With Orange County home to some of the nation’s most-watched congressional races, Orange County Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley predicted earlier that turnout for Tuesday’s election might reach 68 percent, easily besting the 2010 midterm election that was a wave election for Republicans and saw a turnout of 55 percent.

Turnout in the last midterm election in 2014 was 42 percent.

With about half of precincts reporting Tuesday, turnout was running around 28 percent.

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