Democratic candidate Raumesh A. Akbari, a 29-year-old Memphis attorney, won Thursday’s special election to fill the Tennessee House District 91 seat vacated when 40-year political veteran state Rep. Lois DeBerry died of cancer earlier this year, reports The Commercial Appeal.
Akbari, whose full name is pronounced rah-MESH ahk-BAR-ee, bested independent candidate James L. Tomasik by a wide margin, claiming 89 percent of the votes, according to numbers provided by the Shelby County Election Commission early Thursday night.
Of the 3,472 votes cast, Akbari took 3,087. Tomasik claimed 369 and 16 votes went to write-in candidates.
“I’m really excited to be able to represent the people of District 91 and our community,” Akbari said. “I can’t wait, honestly.”
Akbari said she was honored to step into Rep. DeBerry’s seat, calling the late legislator a “lioness for our community.”
Campaigning in favor of education, jobs, health care and other social issues, Akbari emerged early in the race as the favored candidate of the largely Democratic district that encompasses much of South Memphis as well as neighborhoods near the University of Memphis.