Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

San Diego Republican Party Endorses Marco Contreras in 79th Assembly District

Marco Contreras, Republican candidate for the 79th Assembly seat, is pictured...

Credit: Marco Contreras campaign photo

Above: Marco Contreras, Republican candidate for the 79th Assembly seat, is pictured in this undated campaign photo.

The San Diego Republican Party made an early endorsement Tuesday for the June 8 special election in the 79th Assembly District, putting its weight behind Marco Contreras.

The seat was vacated by Shirley Weber last month when she became California's Secretary of State. Weber was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to fill the vacancy caused by his appointment of Alex Padilla to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Vice President Kamala Harris.

The 79th District primary will be April 6. Weber's daughter, La Mesa City Council Vice Mayor Akilah Weber, is hoping to succeed her mother in representing the district that encompasses southeastern San Diego and parts of Chula Vista, Bonita, La Mesa, Lemon Grove and National City.

Until Contreras threw his hat into the ring, no Republican candidates had officially declared a run for the seat.

San Diego Republican Party Chairwoman Paula Whitsell released a statement endorsing Contreras.

"The vacancy presents an amazing opportunity for Republicans to represent a larger group of people and further the ideals and values that make the party what it is today," she said. "Marco Contreras embodies those ideas and values. Born in San Diego and raised in Tijuana, he is the embodiment of working hard to fulfill the American Dream."

Contreras attended Marian Catholic High School in San Diego, where he played football, and graduated from the University of San Diego. He owns Rancho Custom Brokers, which provides U.S. Customs compliance and consulting services.

Contreras said he is seeking the seat "because I believe our community needs a new and effective approach to leadership."

"I want to be a voice in our government that stands for providing safety to our cities, a voice that stands for a financially sound approach to government, and a voice that stands for preserving the future and potential of our children by putting education first," he said.

"I'm running to serve our community by fighting to protect our rights and freedom to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. I'm running because I believe there is greatness on the inside of every human being, and it is the job of every elected official to vote for policies that will help each person fulfill their own American Dream. I'm ready to fight for a better San Diego and a better California."

Contreras faces an uphill battle. The 79th Assembly District is San Diego's most diverse with double the number of registered Democrats to Republicans, 44.75%-22.03%. Weber won the seat over Republican John Moore in 2020 by nearly 31 points.

Weber was first elected to the 79th District seat in 2012 and was never seriously challenged for the position in four consecutive elections, winning the general elections over Republican and American Independent challengers by 20+ point margins.

FEATURED PODCAST

San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.