David Alvarez leading in early returns in 80th Assembly District special election

Democrat David Alvarez was ahead of the race for the 80th Circuit Assembly with 38.47 percent of the vote when the first ballot papers were released shortly after 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

Democrat colleague Georgette Gomez was far behind with 36.98%, while Republican Lincoln Picard followed with 24.55%. These early returns represented correspondence ballots submitted before election day and accounted for 13.6 per cent of registered voters in the constituency.

Alvarez, a former San Diego City Councilor from 2010 to 2018, and Gómez, an environmental activist who served on the San Diego City Council from 2016 to 2020, are vying for the open position left by former MP Lorena Gonzalez. Picard, a lesser-known Republican opponent, is making his fifth home run.

Extraordinary elections will fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term, which expires in December. If no candidate wins the majority of votes, the two candidates will advance to the second round of the June 7th by-elections. Separate qualifying elections will be held in June for the next term, which begins in 2023.

Early voting has been going on for several weeks, but Tuesday marked the official election day and the last chance for the 250,000 registered voters in the district to vote. Extraordinary elections usually have far fewer voters than general elections, and the Secretary of the Voters estimated that this race would probably have a 15% to 20% turnout.

Low turnout can often lead to a small number of votes, so the candidates spent Tuesday making the last seats to the supporters. Alvarez said it started at 6 p.m. waving signs at Barrio Logan and Chula Vista as commuters left for work, and then wandering with his wife, Xochitl, from 10 a.m. to noon, checking in with specific voters who had pledged to but whose names had not yet appeared on the ballot lists.

“This is to get out of the vote,” he said. “It really means getting people to vote.”

Gomez alternated between putting up signs at intersections and calling on supporters with campaign reminders. On Tuesday afternoon she stood near an off-road freeway on the Telegraph Canyon Road in Chula Vista with her campaign team, dancing with J.Lo and holding a “Gómez for Assembly” placard with a leaf motif over the “G” that symbolizes its focus on environmental justice.

Candidate Georgette Gómez is holding a sign and rocking passing drivers on the corner of Telegraph Canyon Road and Nacion Avenue in Chula Vista in an attempt to get votes for the vacant seat in the 80th Convention District.

(Kristian Carreon / For The San Diego Union-Tribune)

“I feel very strong,” he said. “Only the amount of energy and the people who supported our campaign is what feeds me. It reminds me of why I’m doing this. “

The seat opened when Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez resigned Jan. 3 to take up the job as chief executive of the California Labor Federation, leaving a significant political opening in the area.

Gonzalez had served in Sacramento for almost a decade, becoming the influential chair of the Convention Credit Committee. Known for her intelligence and passion for labor rights, she passed bills requiring paid sick leave for part-time workers and double pay for employees scheduled for Thanksgiving or the Christmas holidays.

Late last year, however, California redistributive changes limited Gonzalez’s neighborhood to City Heights, outside the 80th District. According to the new maps, she could not be a candidate for re-election in her constituency without moving to a new home. She had also recently been treated for breast cancer. Around the same time, the Labor Federation voted to offer her its top leadership position, but had not yet negotiated to hire her.

Before Gonzalez announced her decision on whether to run for another term, Gomez and Alvarez claimed the seat, announcing on social media their plans to run if she did not run for re-election. Alvarez posted a video on YouTube announcing his plans to seek the potential open position, while Gómez sought, and eventually received, Gonzalez’s support for the position.

“There are high expectations for those who hold the seat as they should, but I’m ready,” Gomez said. “I have been fighting these issues for two decades.”

Gomez also received his approval San Diego Democratic Party. Alvarez was ratified by San Diego Union Tribune Editorial Board.

The open mounting seat is a coveted location both lifelong San Diegans. Gómez and Alvarez were born and raised in the Barrio Logan area, graduated from San Diego State University and began their political careers at City Hall.

Both worked in defense roles before being elected to the post: Gómez with the Environmental Health Coalition and Alvarez as social worker and employee of former state senator Denise Ducheny.

Alvarez lives in Logan Heights with his wife and two school-age children, while Gómez and his wife, Raquel Pacheco, live in Barrio Logan.

Candidates express long-term goals of representing their communities of origin and express their desire to correct the social mistakes they faced in their childhood, such as poverty, crime and pollution. Alvarez said his top priorities include building a university on Chula Vista and improving public safety. Gomez said she would focus on environmental justice, income inequality and streamlining licensing procedures for housing construction.

Picard has run for the position unsuccessfully four times in the past. In the 2013 general election, he ran on the ballot as an independent candidate for registration, and in the 2016, 2018, and 2020 general elections, Picard ran as a Republican.

He said he opposes gun restrictions, wants to lift the remaining restrictions on COVID-19 and opposes legal abortions. Pickard said he did not believe human activity had caused climate change and supported increasing oil drilling in California.

David Alvarez leading in early returns in 80th Assembly District special election Source link David Alvarez leading in early returns in 80th Assembly District special election

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