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Dead Candidate Leads Chula Vista CA Race


A ballot scanner at the Salida Library Voting Center in Salida, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022.

A ballot scanner at the Salida Library Voting Center in Salida, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022.


Simon Silva holds a Leadership – 149 votes in the race to become Chula Vista’s next city attorney, California vote counts as of Nov. 10 show. But he will not take office if he wins.

Silva died in September, after the deadline review the ballots for the elections on Tuesday, November 8, KNSD reports.

While thousands of votes have yet to be counted in the race, Chula Vista officials already have a plan if Silva wins.

“If Mr. Silva had won the majority, he would have won was considered chosen,” the city clerk’s office told KSWB.

“With Mr. Silva unable to fill the seat, the city charter requires the City Council to declare the seat vacant and call a special election to fill the position in 2023,” the office said.

His opponent, Dan Smith, told the station he was willing to accept the results if Silva won as long as voters knew he was dead and that a special election could cost $2 million.

But Smith, a Republican in the nonpartisan race, accused the Democratic Party of trying cover up Silva’s death among voters, KGTV reported.

“I think they did a disservice to members of their party by not telling them,” Smith said. “My disappointment is nothing compared to their disappointment when they found out today that Mr. Silva had died and they voted for him.”

Democrats responded that Smith “should not be elected by default” just because Silva is dead, KGTV reported.

Silva, a deputy city attorney, died Sept. 3 of cancer, according to KNSD.

Additional results are expected to be released by 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, county election officials said. About 500,000 votes remain unclaimed in San Diego County.

Chula Vista is a city of 277,000 about 9 miles south of San Diego.

Don Sweeney was a newspaper reporter and editor in California for over 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter for The Sacramento Bee since 2016.

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