Dr. Akilah Weber. Campaign photo

La Mesa Councilwoman Dr. Akilah Weber claimed victory Thursday in the race to take the 79th Assembly District seat her mother held until she became California’s secretary of state.

The physician, a Democrat, received 51.97%, or 33,161 votes, in the special election, according to unofficial results released Thursday by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters.

Weber needed her vote total to remain above 50% to be elected without a runoff. Otherwise she would have faced Marco Contreras, the lone Republican in the field of five candidates, on June 8.

Contreras has 33.43% of the vote, or 21,332 votes. In the five-candidate field, he’s the only other contender who logged more than 8% of the vote.

The projected number of outstanding ballots is 300, according to the registrar, with all 269 precincts reporting. Turnout was low though, with just 21.2% of those eligible taking part in a district of more than 302,000 voters.

“Hundreds of people worked hard to earn this victory, and I am so grateful for their friendship, commitment, and trust,” Weber said in a statement. “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.”

She added that her “job is to deliver results for the 79th district, to strengthen our communities, and to build a brighter future for every Californian.”

Weber, an obstetrician/gynecologist, leads the Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology Division at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego.

Contreras owns Rancho Customs Brokers, which provides compliance and consulting services.

Akilah Weber will take over the seat her mother, Shirley Weber, won in 2012. California Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed the elder Weber to the top state post to replace Alex Padilla.

He earlier had appointed Padilla to fill the Senate seat vacated with the election of Kamala Harris as vice president.

The 79th Assembly District consists of southeastern San Diego, La Mesa, Lemon Grove and parts of Chula Vista, Bonita and National City.

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