Meet the Candidates Competing to Replace Lorena Gonzalez in the 80 Seat of Assembly District

SAN DIEGO — For nearly a decade, Lorena Gonzalez served with California’s 80th State Assembly District, casting a long shadow over her work writing labor rights bills and picking arguments with Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Now that she has found a new statewide position, voters will soon be heading to the polls to choose her replacement.

Three candidates – two Democrats and a Republican – will appear on the ballot for Election Day on April 5. Voting has already begun for many San Diegans, as every active registered voter receives a ballot in the mail prior to Election Day under the state’s Voter Choice Act. Check out the full guide to the FOX 5 election here.

Below is an introduction to the candidates on the ballot for this election, with the winner serving the remainder of Gonzalez’s term through December.

democratic challengers

The two Democrats of the racearranged alphabetically:

David Alvarez

David Allvarez. (KSWB photo)

Alvarez, 41, has been a well-known figure in local politics for more than a decade. He previously served on the San Diego City Council and unsuccessfully ran for mayor in a special election against Kevin Faulconer in 2013-14.

He announced his intentions to flee for Gonzalez’s seat in December “to represent this community where I was born and where we raise our children.”

On his return to politics after several years of absence, Alvarez told FOX 5 the state is not moving in the right direction, citing the price of gas, the problem of homelessness and access to education for students.

“If you get elected, you have to be a problem solver,” he said. “That’s the job. In the field of education, for example, we need to make sure that we fund programs throughout the summer, after school and even like Saturday school so that our children can regain the learning loss that has occurred over the past two years.” …will have to be a huge investment, an investment in education that we haven’t seen in a long time.”

He has received a number of important recommendations during his run, according to his website. They include the editorial board of the Union-Tribune, the San Diego County Medical Society and the National Union of Healthcare Workers, as well as a number of local leaders such as the Mayor of the National City, Alejandra Sotelo-Solis, Vivian Moreno, member of the City Council of San Diego, LaMesa. City Councilor Colin Parent and Jason Wells, the CEO of the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce.

Watch his full interview with FOX 5’s Aric Richards below:

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Georgette Gomez

Georgette Gomez. (KSWB photo)

Another figure with local name recognition is Gómez, the 46-year-old former president of the San Diego City Council. She last ran for public office in 2020 to represent California’s 53rd congressional district, but lost the race to fellow Democrat Sara Jacobs.

This time, she comes in with the endorsement of Gonzalez and a number of major players in local politics, including San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, San Diego County Board of Trustees Chairman Nathan Fletcher (who is married to Gonzalez ) and the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors Nora Vargas. †

Gómez told FOX 5 that she’s “worked for this neighborhood all my life and improved neighborhoods,” from things like housing to the environment. According to Gómez, the most critical issues are related to the state’s economy by helping with the housing crisis and reducing the state’s rising cost of living.

She said her position as chairman of the board gave her experience working with others to meet the needs of her constituents.

“Being able to negotiate and respond to the needs of my colleagues, to really move the city forward, I feel like that has given me a strong experience to be strong in the state assembly(s) at the state level, ” she said.

Watch her full interview with FOX 5’s Raoul Martinez below:

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Republican Challengers

Only one Republican has announced that he will run for the seat:

Lincoln Pickard

Lincoln Pickard. (Photo courtesy of Pickard campaign)

Despite campaigning for state and local seats for the past decade, Pickard has never been elected to public office. He last ran in 2020 in the impartial primaries for the 80th district of the state assembly, where he was defeated by Gonzalez and Republican John Vogel. Pickard, who is listed as a retired contractor, also unsuccessfully ran for the San Diego City Council in 2014, losing to Alvarez.

Reached by email, Pickard told FOX 5 that the price of gas is “one of the most important issues because it (affects) everyone.”

“California has the oil in the ground to bring the price down significantly,” he said. “My goal would be $2.00 a gallon.”

His website also details a number of other priorities, such as fighting for the Second Amendment, ending COVID-19 mandates, and fighting President Joe Biden, Governor Gavin Newsom, and other prominent Democrats he says are “harming our people, our economy. †

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