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Akilah Weber wins 79th Assembly District Special Election

Marco Contreras, the lone Republican in the field of five candidates, was second with 33.43%, the only other candidate with more than 9%.
Credit: AP
La Mesa City Council member Akilah Weber (right) speaks as she sits with other members of the panel during the Black Excellence in Public Service: Serving and Protecting Our Children forum held at the Skyline Hills Branch Library in San Diego, Saturday Feb. 23, 2019. Weber was one of five candidates running in the San Diego-area's 79th Assembly District after her mother, California Secretary of State Shirley Weber, resigned in January 2021 to succeed Alex Padilla as the state's top elections official. (Hayne Palmour IV/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP)

SAN DIEGO — La Mesa City Councilwoman Akilah Weber on Thursday night was elected to the 79th Assembly District seat her mother Shirley held from 2012 until being appointed secretary of state in December.

The Democrat had 51.97% of the vote with about 300 ballots left to be counted from Tuesday's special election, according to figures released Thursday by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters.

Marco Contreras, the lone Republican in the field of five candidates, was second with 33.43%, the only other candidate with more than 9%. Under state law, a candidate receiving a majority in a special election primary is elected to the office without a runoff.

"Hundreds of people worked hard to earn this victory, and I am so grateful for their friendship, commitment, and trust," Weber wrote on Facebook. "I want to thank my family, without whom none of this would be possible, all of the volunteers and supporters who fueled our campaign, and most of all the voters for their trust and confidence.

"My job is to deliver results for the 79th District, to strengthen our communities and to build a brighter future for every Californian. I promise to continue what we have started together and to fight every day to advance the values we share. Now, it's time to get to work."

Weber is expected to be sworn-in this month.

Weber has pledged to advocate for:

-- high-impact grants designed to help old businesses stay open and new businesses start up;

-- streamlined permitting to enable small-business owners to reopen and expand quickly to meet new demand;

-- increased direct payments to support struggling families and workers looking for new employment; and

-- more spending on infrastructure to rebuild aging roads and utilities.

In health care, Weber, an obstetrician/gynecologist who leads the Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology Division at Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego, supports more funding for primary care clinics and services, improved equity in health care and increasing health care coverage in underserved areas.

Weber has also called for making public colleges and universities tuition-free, increasing teacher salaries and spending on science, technology, engineering and math education, and expanding early childhood education, including making preschool universal.

Leticia Munguia, the business representative for the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, District 36, which represents government employees across Southern California, was third with 8.24% of the vote, followed by Shane Suzanne Parmely, a teacher at Bell Middle School, with 5.08%.

Aeiramique Glass-Blake, a restorative justice consultant, activist and preacher who works in the juvenile justice field, was fifth with 1.28%.

The district consists of southeastern San Diego, La Mesa, Lemon Grove and parts of Chula Vista, Bonita and National City.

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