Last updated at 9:52 a.m., Wednesday.
Former Oceanside Councilman Rocky Chavez and longtime state legislator aide Sherry Hodges are heading for a November runoff in the 76th Assembly District—which includes Encinitas, Carlsbad, Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, Vista and parts of Fallbrook.
With 100 percent of the votes counted, Chavez earned 39 percent and Hodges trailed with 33 percent of the vote. Carlsbad City Councilwoman Farrah Douglas earned 28 percent of the vote.
Incumbent Assemblyman Martin Garrick is termed out, leaving his seat open for both Republicans.
Chavez and Hodges have built platforms focused on the improving the economy, lowering taxes, supporting education, and increasing government efficiency.
Chavez, a retired Marine colonel and former undersecretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs, has said he’ll also focus on serving military families.
"There are more veterans in the 76th Assembly District than any district in California, so it’s only appropriate than a Marine would represent Camp Pendleton," Chavez said.
Hodges, a former member of the San Dieguito Union High School Board, has said she’ll also pour efforts into public safety and infrastructure protection.
Tuesday night Chavez said he was “very pleased” with the results, adding that he believed he’d earned the frontrunner spot because he’s run a campaign based on issues.
“It’s all about finding out how you can build a conversation to get things done,” he said. “And when you get down to it, my bio is just more established, there’s more depth to it.”