Assembly District 36 Primary Race: Gonzalez Leads, Democrats Vie for Spot”

Assembly District 36 Primary Race: Gonzalez Leads, Democrats Vie for Spot”

In a closely watched primary race to fill the void left by long-time Democratic Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia in Assembly District 36, early returns reveal Republican Jeff Gonzalez taking the lead. However, the Democratic field remains competitive as several candidates vie for the chance to advance to the general election.

Early Results and Leading Candidate:

According to preliminary results posted on Tuesday night by the California Secretary of State, Jeff Gonzalez secured the top position with 9,034 votes, representing 32.7% of the over 27,000 votes cast in the race. The Assembly District 36 encompasses the eastern Coachella Valley.

Democratic Contenders and Voting Dynamics:

With more votes yet to be reported, Democratic candidates continue to compete for the second spot to secure a place in the November election. Jose “Joey” Acuña Jr. currently holds the second position with 5,143 votes (18.6%), closely followed by Edgard Garcia with 4,584 votes (16.6%).

As of now, Democratic candidates collectively command 57% of the votes, while Republicans hold 43%, emphasizing the competitive nature of the race.

Background and Assembly District 36:

Assembly District 36, represented by Eduardo Garcia until his decision not to seek re-election, covers Coachella, Indio, the eastern Coachella Valley, eastern Riverside County, extending to the Arizona line, as well as Imperial County and a portion of eastern San Bernardino County. Eduardo Garcia served the district since 2014 and won re-election in 2022.

Seven candidates participated in the primary, including five Democrats and two Republicans. The top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, will advance to the general election according to California’s voting system.

Candidates in the Running:

Key Democratic candidates include Joey Acuña, a trustee on the Coachella Valley Unified School District Board of Education, and Waymond Fermon, a member of the Indio City Council since 2018. Acuña, endorsed by Garcia and other Riverside County officials, aims to secure the backing needed to advance to the general election.

Republicans vying for the seat include Jeff Gonzalez, a business owner and former Marine, and Kalin Morse, a nonprofit director based in Westmoreland. Gonzalez, who previously challenged Garcia in 2018, holds notable endorsements from conservative figures, including U.S. Rep. Ken Calvert and Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco.

Impact of Garcia’s Departure:

Eduardo Garcia’s decision not to seek re-election triggered a crowded field of candidates. The Democrats’ strained relationship with Kody and his siblings became a focal point during the show’s 18th season. The family dynamics and public exposure highlighted the challenges inherent in unconventional family structures.

Conclusion and Path to the General Election:

As the primary results unfold, the focus shifts to the November general election. The competition for the second spot intensifies among Democratic candidates, reflecting the diverse political landscape in Assembly District 36. With the departure of Eduardo Garcia and the emergence of new political contenders, the race continues to captivate the attention of voters and political observers alike.

As the primary election results unfold, the race for Assembly District 36 is marked by a competitive field and the intricate dynamics of party politics. The transition from Eduardo Garcia’s tenure to a new representative underscores the importance of diverse voices and perspectives in California’s legislative landscape. The upcoming general election on November 5th will further shape the political trajectory of this expansive and diverse district.

Assembly District 36 Primary Race: Gonzalez Leads, Democrats Vie for Spot"



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