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SAN DIEGO — Democratic candidates David Alvarez and Georgette Gómez are projected to advance to a runoff election, early returns in the Assembly District 80 Special Primary Election showed Tuesday.

The early results revealed Alvarez is ahead of fellow Democratic candidate Georgette Gómez by 491 votes with 13,117 while Republican candidate Lincoln Pickard trails in third with 24.60% of the vote — a total of 34,406 ballots were cast, which includes 33,481 mail ballots and 925 vote center ballots.

County voting officials stated on their website Tuesday night that there are still 6,500 outstanding ballots to be posted after 5 p.m. on Thursday.

Once those final results are in, if any one candidate received more than 50% of the vote, they will win the replacement seat outright, serving until December. If no candidate achieves that mark, the top two vote-getters will move to a runoff, which will be held at the same time as the June 7 primary election.

The 80th Assembly District seat, which covers the southern part of San Diego and most of Chula Vista and National City, was formerly filled by Lorena Gonzalez who resigned from the position in January after eight years on the job. She went on to purse a position as an executive secretary-treasure for the California Labor Federation.

Gómez, a former San Diego City Council President who was endorsed by Gonzalez shortly after her resignation from the 80th Assembly District seat, took to Twitter Tuesday night on the initial results.

“As a community organizer, victims’ advocate and City Council President during COVID, I’ve spent my life fighting for working families who deserve better,” she said. “That’s who I’ll stand up for in the Assembly to expand affordable housing, reduce healthcare costs, and protect our climate.”

Gómez last ran for public office in 2020 to represent California’s 53rd congressional district, but lost the race to fellow Democrat Sara Jacobs.

Meanwhile, Alvarez previously served as a member of San Diego City Council for eight years and unsuccessfully ran for mayor in a special election against Kevin Faulconer in 2013-14. But at the moment, he leads the race with 38.42% of the vote.

Pickard last ran in 2020 in the nonpartisan primary election for the 80th State Assembly District but was beaten by Gonzalez and Republican John Vogel. His early results trailed Gómez by 4,227 votes.