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Weber Wins 79th Assembly District Special Election

An undated campaign photo of Akilah Weber.
Campaign photo
An undated campaign photo of Akilah Weber.

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

The Democrat has 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.