SAN DIEGO — Democratic State Assemblymember Dr. Akilah Weber announced a run for the State Senate on Thursday, looking to assume the District 39 seat being vacated by President pro Tempore Toni Atkins.

“My promise to voters is that I will always be their voice to create a stronger and healthier San Diego for all,” Weber stated. “I am deeply grateful to Senator President pro Tempore Toni Atkins for her service in the State Legislature and I will do my best to build upon her legacy.”

Weber is the second person to indicate an intention to run for the office — the first being embattled County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher. Fletcher dropped out of the race upon announcing he would be checking into an inpatient treatment center for post-traumatic stress, trauma and alcohol abuse, days before allegations of sexual assault and battery were made against him in a lawsuit.

Elected to the State Assembly in 2021, Weber currently represents California’s 79th district, including La Mesa, Lemon Grove and Spring Valley, as well as part of El Cajon and San Diego.

During her time in the State Legislature, she has authored a dozen bills that have been signed into law, according to her campaign, including legislation relating to health of students, contraceptive care and the medical practices for victims of domestic violence.

Weber also served on the La Mesa City Council where she helped implement the city’s Climate Action Plan, as well as establish the Community Police Oversight Board and the La Mesa homelessness task force.

“I have successfully fought to improve access to quality healthcare, strengthen our education system, protect our environment, and further economic prosperity,” Weber said in the press release. “As State Senator for District 39, I will continue this fight.”

Weber is a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist and founded the Pediatric & Adolescent Gynecology Division at Rady Children’s Hospital. She has also taught in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Services at UC San Diego.

She is the daughter of Secretary of State Shirley Weber, who represented District 79 in the State Assembly until she was appointed — and later elected — to her current position by Governor Gavin Newsom.

The boundaries of State Senate District 39 were redrawn in 2022. It now makes up about half of registered voters in the City of San Diego, including the Point Loma peninsula, downtown area, mid-city, Clairemont, City Heights and neighborhoods in the Southeast. Lemon Grove, La Mesa, El Cajon and Coronado are also part of the district.

President pro Tempore Atkins, who currently represents District 39, will be relinquishing the seat after she reaches her term limit next year.

Currently, there are no other announced candidates for the office. The primary election will be on Mar. 5.