Assembly District 36 primary race

A map shows the boundaries of California Assembly District 36.

In a crowded field of primary candidates vying to replace long-time Democratic Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, early returns posted Tuesday night show Republican Jeff Gonzalez leading the pack, with several Democratic candidates still vying for a spot to advance to the general election.

According to results posted on the California Secretary of State’s website Tuesday night, Gonzalez was leading with 9,034 votes, or 32.7% of more than 27,000 votes cast in the race to represent Assembly District 36, which covers the eastern Coachella Valley.

With more votes to be reported, several Democratic candidates remained in the mix for the next spot to advance to the November election: Jose “Joey” Acuña Jr. was in second place with 5,143 votes, or 18.6%, while Edgard Garcia was close behind him with 4,584 votes, or 16.6%.

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