Special Elections in 2021

Assembly District 79

After the general election of 2020, former California Secretary of State Alex Padilla was appointed to replace Kamala Harris in the U.S. Senate. Dr. Shirley Weber, previously a member of the California State Assembly for the 79th District, was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to fill the position of Secretary of State vacated by Padilla. This left the 79th Assembly District up for grabs. The primary for the special election will be held on April 6, 2021. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two vote getters will advance to a runoff election that will be held on June 8, 2021.

As you know, PIFC is a non-partisan organization, and we seek to identify the most viable candidates who support the interests of PIFPAC members. There are five candidates running in the primary election for State Assemblymember, District 79:

  • Aeiramique Glass Blake (D) from Southeast San Diego, is the Director of Generation Justice, a youth led activism, organizing and advocacy organization. Glass Blake was previously a candidate for U.S. Congressional District 51 that was won by Democrat Juan Vargas in 2020.


  • Leticia Munguia (D) was born in San Diego and graduated from San Diego State University and attended law school in Michigan. Munguia is the business representative for the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, District 36, and represents public workers across Southern California.


  • Shane Suzanne Parmely (D) was born in La Mesa and graduated from Loyola Marymount University. After graduation, Parmely returned to San Diego where she became a teacher and earned a master’s degree from the University of San Diego. Parmely is currently a middle school teacher in Paradise Hills and is the National Education Association board member for San Diego County.


  • Akilah Weber (D) has served on the La Mesa City Council since 2018 and is the Director of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology Division at Rady’s Children’s Hospital. She is the daughter of Dr. Shirley Weber, former Assemblymember from District 79, and was endorsed by the California Democratic Party in the upcoming special election.


  • Marco Contreras (R) was born in San Diego and attended the University of San Diego. Contreras founded Rancho Customs Brokers in 2013. He has been endorsed by the San Diego Republican Party.

After an extensive vetting process and candidate interviews, PIFC is pleased to endorse Dr. Akilah Weber.

Senate District 30

There is great news from the special election for Senate District 30! PIFC supported California State Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager, who had a resounding victory, taking in 67.7% of the vote. This seat was vacated on December 6, 2020, when Democrat Holly Mitchell of Los Angeles resigned to become a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Senator Kamlager was officially sworn in on Thursday, March 11, 2021. This is a particularly impressive victory considering there were seven candidates on the ballot, and Senator Kamlager was in the middle of the ballot placement. Because Senator Kamlager received over 50% of the vote, this election did not qualify for a runoff.

This victory was helped by the strong independent expenditure (IE) coalition PIFC and Farmers participated in.  Early polling showed Ms. Kamlager as the first choice of 36% of voters.  After a robust digital voter effort identifying the great things Ms. Kamlager accomplished for her constituents, she had a strong finish.  This is a textbook example of the importance of political involvement.

Our IE coalition started early, we were the first in the field and we spent the bulk of our resources on digital advertising.  This was later supplemented by other IE efforts by other groups who focused on traditional mail.

Assembly District 54

Ms. Kamlager’s victory will lead to another special election in Assembly District 54, which covers parts of West and South Los Angeles.  This election will occur on May 18 with a runoff if necessary, on July 20.

Three of the top candidates for the State Assembly seat are:

  • Heather Hutt (D) was Kamala Harris’ state director during Harris’ time in the U.S. Senate. Before working in the U.S. Senate, Hutt served as the District Director for California State Senator Isadore Hall. Ms. Hutt has been endorsed by the California Legislative Black Caucus.


  • Isaac Bryan (D) is the founding director of the UCLA Black Policy Project and was a Senior Advisor to Sydney Kamlager. Mr. Bryan serves as the Director of Public Policy for the Million Dollar Hoods Project and the UCLA Bunche Center. Mr. Bryan has a Bachelor’s in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Arizona and obtained a Master of Public Policy from UCLA.


  • Dallas Fowler (D) is a former Los Angeles Commissioner on the Status of Women and a representative to the National and California Associations of Commissions for Women. Ms. Fowler was a delegate for Bernie Sanders at the 2016 and 2020 Democratic National Conventions. Ms. Fowler is a graduate of the School of Business and Industry at Florida A&M University.

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