Dr. Akilah Weber and Ammar Campa-Najjar. Campaign photos

La Mesa City Councilmember Akilah Weber and Congressional candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar have emerged as possible contenders to succeed Assemblymember Shirley Weber in a special election next year.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last week that he would appoint Weber to succeed Alex Padilla as Secretary of State in a series of top-level changes in the wake of Sen. Kamala Harris’ election as Vice President.

Dr. Akilah Weber, who is Shirley Weber’s daughter, posted on Facebook Saturday that “I have decided to run for the 79th Assembly seat when it becomes vacant. It would be an honor to represent and serve the residents of this district and continue to ensure that we build a better tomorrow that improves the future for ALL Californians.”

The younger Weber was elected to the La Mesa City Council in 2018 and currently serves as Vice Mayor. She is an obstetrician and gynecologist at UC San Diego Health and serves on the medical school faculty.

Campa-Najjar, who narrowly lost to Darrell Issa in the 50th District in November, said he is exploring a possible run for the Assembly seat but has not made a firm decision. “I’m taking a deep look at it,” he told Times of San Diego.

He said he has “immense respect” for the elder Weber and it will be important to “continue her legacy” in the district, which extends north of Interstate 8 from Linda Vista to El Cajon, and south through Lemon Grove and southeast San Diego to Otay Mesa. It is an area where Campa-Najjar has lived and worked.

Campa-Najjar said he was disappointed by his loss in November, but believes his candidacy has been a catalyst for change in conservative east San Diego County.

No date has been set for the special election to fill the 79th District seat, but it is likely to be in March or April.

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Chris Jennewein

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