Candidates interested in running in the special election for California State Assembly District 79 had until February 11, 2021, to file. The primary election is scheduled for April 6, and the general election is scheduled for June 8.
The special election was called after Shirley Weber (D) left office due to her appointment as California Secretary of State by Gov. Gavin Newson (D). The previous secretary of state—Alex Padilla (D)—resigned following his appointment to the United States Senate. Newsom formally appointed Weber to the office on January 18, and the California legislature unanimously confirmed Weber as the first Black person to hold this position on January 28. Weber served in the state assembly from 2012 until she was sworn in as secretary of state on January 29.
As of February 2021, 26 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 16 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.