Deceased Chula Vista City Attorney candidate Simon Silva is leading in the early election results, according to the San Diego County Registrar of Voters.
Silva, who succumbed to cancer in September, is the top candidate with 16,598 votes, or 50.23% of votes, and leads Dan Smith, who received 16,449 votes, or 49.77% of the votes.
Chula Vista taxpayers will have to pay between $1.5 and $2 million for a special election if Silva is elected to the position. Current City Attorney Glen Googins would continue to serve until a successor is elected.
According to City Clerk Kerry Bigelow, Silva’s name remains on the ballot because his death came after the Aug.15 deadline to make changes to the ballot.
Federal Attorney and registered Republican, Dan Smith, ran against Silva for the open seat. If Smith wins the majority of votes, he would be sworn into office during a Dec.13 City Council meeting. If Silva was to receive the majority of votes, he would be elected, and the Chula Vista City Council will have to decide when to hold a special election in either April or November of 2023.
Current City Attorney Glen Googins would continue to serve until his successor is elected.
According to the city’s charter, a special election is required when there vacant seat with more than 24 months left to term. Any elected official in the city of Chula Vista would have a four-year term.