Early voting will begin Monday in the special election to fill the 79th Assembly District seat vacated by Dr. Shirley Weber when she was appointed secretary of state.
Ballots can be cast at the San Diego County Registrar of Voters headquarters in Kearny Mesa on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Voters are asked to bring a face mask and plan to maintain social distance.
Five candidates are looking to fill the seat -- four Democrats and one Republican -- including Weber's Democrat daughter, La Mesa City council member Dr. Akilah Weber.
The 79th Assembly District encompasses southeastern San Diego, La Mesa, and Lemon Grove, plus parts of Chula Vista, Bonita, and National City.
In addition to her role as a La Mesa City council member, the younger Weber is an obstetrician/gynecologist who leads the Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology Division at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego.
The others in the race in the predominantly Democratic district are:
- Democrat Aeiramique Glass-Blake, a restorative justice consultant, activist, preacher who works in the juvenile justice field;
- Democrat Leticia Munguia, the business representative for the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, District 36, representing public workers across Southern California; and
- Democrat Shane Parmely, a teacher at Bell Middle School.
- The lone Republican is Marco Contreras, the owner of Rancho Customs
Brokers, which provides customs compliance and consulting services.
If no candidate receives a majority in the April 6 election, a runoff between the top two finishers will be held on June 8.
About 300,000 are on their way to voters in the district and could arrive at voters' homes by Monday, according to Tracy DeFore, a communications specialist with the San Diego County Communications Office.
A pre-paid postage envelope is being sent with the ballot.
Voters who return their mail ballot can track it by signing up for "Where's My Ballot?''
Starting March 29, voters will also have the option to bring their ballots in person to a drop-off location.
Dr. Shirley Weber
Weber was nominated for the secretary of state position by California Gov. Gavin Newsom. The seat was left vacant after the selection of Secretary of State Alex Padilla for the U.S. Senate seat, when Kamala Harris was chosen as Vice President of the United States alongside President Joe Biden.
Weber was unanimously confirmed to her new position by the State Senate on Jan. 28. She is the first Black Secretary of State in the history of California.
At Weber's confirmation, Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, who also represents the San Diego area, said she is looking forward to learning from Weber as she "protects our most sacred democratic process."
“Dr. Weber’s appointment makes history, but I believe that as Secretary of State, Shirley Weber will continue to make history, especially in ensuring California’s leadership on voting rights and voter participation,” Atkins said.
You can watch NBC 7's one-on-one interview with Weber here or below.