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Two Democrats, former allies square off in 80th Assembly District race

Two Democrats, former allies square off in 80th Assembly District race
Posted at 4:03 PM, Jun 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-01 20:17:28-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - One of the most contentious races this June pits two Democrats and former allies against each other in a special election for the 80th Assembly District.

The runoff election for the 80th Assembly District will take place within the old district boundaries, which includes most of the southern part of the county and an estimated 250,000 voters.

The winner will fill the term of influential Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, who stepped down for a leadership position at the California Labor Federation.

The April election that forced the runoff was a tight one. Moving on: two Democrats separated by less than 170 votes.

The leading vote-getter, Georgette Gomez, grew up in Barrio Logan and worked as an environmental health advocate.

A former San Diego city councilmember and Council President, she opened a public affairs firm after her term.

“I want to dedicate my life to making sure we’re doing better for South Bay, and I'm ready to lead as the next assembly member,” said Gomez.

Gomez says her top priorities are income equality, jobs, air pollution and tackling the housing crisis. If elected, she hopes to back measures supporting a living wage, as well as push for specific money to create housing for working families.

“There is no real allocation in the affordable housing world, so we want to make sure there is actually a program to help developers fill out more affordable housing,” said Gomez.

Gomez favors gas price relief payments of $400 for each car in a household.

Her opponent, David Alvarez, also grew up in Barrio Logan. The former San Diego city councilmember and mayoral candidate also opened a public affairs firm after his terms.

“I'm running because Sacramento needs new change needs new leadership,” said Alvarez.

Alvarez says his top priorities education, public safety, homelessness and affordable housing. Alvarez favors suspending the gas tax.

If elected, he aims to back measures cutting regulation for affordable housing, as well as pushing for a long-discussed idea.

“We need to create a public university in the South Bay, so our families can have access to college and a university,” said Alvarez.

Alvarez has received support from and business groups and police unions.

“That’s the type of leadership that I bring. It’s collaborative. It’s working with others. That’s how you get things done. That's what the state needs more of,” said Alvarez.

Gomez, endorsed by Lorena Gonzalez, has been targeted by the Republican Party.

“I'm proud to be supported by labor, organized labor. This is an entity that is representing workers, which is what I stand for,” said Gomez.

The two candidates will appear twice on the ballot. Aside from the runoff to fill the remaining months of Gonzalez's term, the primary election for the full two-year term will also be held, within the new boundaries of the 80th Assembly District.

The top two vote-getters in the primary will advance to the general election in November, where yet another rematch is possible.