CHULA VISTA, Calif. — A deceased candidate is in the lead in Chula Vista’s city attorney’s race.
Simon Silva died unexpectedly in September after battling cancer as he was vying for the Chula Vista city attorney seat.
If he’s elected into the position, the city would hold a special election that could cost up to $2 million.
Silva’s opponent Dan Smith said, “If somebody wanted to vote for Mr. Silva, he’s a good man, after knowing that he’s deceased, after that knowing the special election would cost $2 million, I’m absolutely willing to accept that.”
Chula Vista’s City Clerk said in a statement, “If Mr. Silva were to receive the majority of the votes, he would be considered elected. Since Mr. Silva could not be seated, the City Charter would require the City Council to declare the seat vacant and call a special election to fill the position in 2023.”
“It would be tragic because theres so many things the money for the special election,” Smith said. “That’s $1.5 million to $2 million could be used for in Chula Vista, starting with homeless shelter.”
In September, there was controversy about some people in the Democrat Party backing Silva after his death, including Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas. She was emotional during a September city council meeting when the subject was addressed.
At the time she said, “I’m really disappointed that people come to this council meeting and disrespect the honor and the history and the goodness of the man that was running for city attorney.”
“It’s a non partisan position and nonpartisan job, as an attorney you don’t throttle back your representation with somebody because they are the different member of a party,” Smith said.
FOX 5 asked Smith if he plans to run again if this were to go to a special election.
“I’m living in the moment right now, I think the trend is going in our favor and I think now is not the right time to broach that subject,” Smith said in response.
The County Registrar has until Dec. 8 to certify the results. The mayor’s office and city clerk declined an interview Wednesday.