Former Chula Vista Mayor Steve Padilla appeared on track to victory in the sprawling 18th State Senate District, but Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear and incumbent Sen. Brian Jones were in closer races Tuesday.

With 28% of the vote counted, Padilla led with 60.6% of the vote to 39.4% for opponent Alejandro Galicia.

“I’m humbled and grateful to be the choice of San Diego, Imperial and Riverside County voters and I’m ready to put my heart and soul into serving you — the hard working families of this amazing border district,” said Padilla
“My most urgent priority is continuing to fight for a more affordable California where working families don’t have to choose which bills to pay,” he added. “And you know I’ll never stop fighting for a woman’s right to choose.”

In the 32nd District, which stretches from Julian and Borrego Springs into Riverside and parts of Orange County, Republican Assemblymember Kelly Seyarto leads Democrat Brian Nash 58.6% to 41.4% with 26% of votes counted.

In the coastal 38th District, which includes parts of Orange County, Blakespear had 53.65% to Republican Matt Gunderson’s 46.5% with 46% of votes counted.

In the 40th District in East County, Jones led Democratic challenger Joseph Rocha by 53.5% to 46.5% with 43% of votes counted.

The boundaries of all four districts have changed based on the 2020 census results.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.