Two Democrats are leading the race to fill the 80th State Assembly District seat vacated by Lorena Gonzalez, according to early unofficial results posted Tuesday night, but neither will likely secure enough votes to win the seat outright.
Former San Diego City Councilmember Georgette Gomez (38.16%) holds a tight lead over another former councilmember, and fellow Democrat, David Alvarez(37.78%). The two were separated by less than 150 votes as of 5 p.m. on Thursday.
It was Alvarez who started out with a slim lead over Gomez after the first batch of unofficial results were posted on Election Day.
Not far behind Gomez and Alvarez is self-described underdog Lincoln Pickard (24.06%), a Republican retired contractor.
Get San Diego local news, weather forecasts, sports and lifestyle stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC San Diego newsletters.
If no candidates secure more than 50% of the vote, which seems unlikely, the top two vote-getters will head to a runoff election on June 7, 2022.
|Georgette Gomez (D)||15,177||38.16%|
|David Alvarez (D)||15,028||37.78%|
|Lincoln Pickard (R)||9,569||24.06%|
The candidates are running to finish former Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez's term, which ends in December, following her resignation in July. Gonzalez represented the district for eight years. She now leads the 2.1 million-member California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO as its executive secretary-treasurer.
District 80 encompasses the southern part of San Diego and most of Chula Vista and National City.
The county's next update will come next Thursday, April 14, after 5 p.m. Around 500 ballots are outstanding, the registrar projects.
Meet the Candidates
Alvarez served on the council from 2010-18 and lost to Kevin Faulconer in the 2014 special mayoral election following the resignation of Bob Filner.
Alvarez is listed on the ballot as a small business owner. He started Causa Consulting after being termed out of his council seat and has served as a member of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, San Diego Association of Governments and Metropolitan Transit System. He also served on the board of the League of Cities' Latino Caucus and the National Board of Local Progress.
Alvarez grew up in Barrio Logan and attended San Diego State University. His endorsements include San Diego City Councilwoman Vivian Moreno, National City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis and former state Sen. Denise Ducheny.
"I'm running for state Assembly because I'm worried about what kind of California we are leaving for our kids," Alvarez said in a statement.
"Our problems are getting worse, and the solutions provided by our leaders are ineffective. Sacramento politicians are out of touch with the problems families face every day. I'll confront our biggest problems head-on and pursue proven solutions."
Gomez was a council member from 2016-2020 and lost a House race to Sara Jacobs in 2020.
She is listed on the ballot as an environmental advocate and businesswoman. She served on the board of directors of the San Diego Association of Governments and chaired the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System from January 2018 to October 2019. Prior to her Assembly run, Gomez was a community organizer for the Environmental Health Coalition.
Like Alvarez, Gomez grew up in Barrio Logan and attended San Diego State University. She is endorsed by Gonzalez, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, San Diego County Supervisors Nora Vargas and Nathan Fletcher and the California Democratic Party.
"Georgette's priorities include expanding affordable housing, reducing homeless, expanding access to quality childcare for working families, strengthening our public schools, protecting vulnerable San Diegans from crime and discrimination, holding corporate polluters accountable to protect our clean air and climate, and working to guarantee healthcare for every Californian," according to a statement from her campaign.
Pickard is a retired contractor who has admitted he is running as an underdog in the heavily Democratic district. In the district's 2020 election, Gonzalez beat Republican challenger John Vogel 71.5%-28.5%.
Pickard has run for the 80th District seat four times before, first receiving 140 write-in votes in the 2013 special election following then-Assemblyman Ben Hueso's election to the state Senate. Pickard ran again in 2016, 2018 and 2020, receiving a high of 29.5% of the vote against Gonzalez in the 2018 primary election.
His campaign focuses on lowering the cost of gas, water and forest management, repealing COVID-19 restrictions, enforcing border security, bolstering the 2nd Amendment and being a spokesman for pro-life campaigns.
"Elect Lincoln Pickard in a highly Democrat Assembly District and the Democrats will get the message that they can no longer ignore the best interests of American citizens," his campaign website reads.