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Chula Vista’s veteran deputy city attorney, Simon Silva, died earlier this month of cancer. But because he’s still on the November ballot and Democratic Party leaders, including Mayor Mary Salas, are still encouraging residents to vote for Silva, it’s entirely possible he’ll win — which raises a number of procedural questions.
The City Council may need to appoint an interim city attorney and hold a special election next year. In that event, Fox 5 reports that a stand-alone city-wide election could cost almost $2 million.
Current City Attorney Glen Googins, who’s termed out, told the Union-Tribune after Silva’s death that he recommended his city colleagues use an independent attorney to figure out how to proceed and avoid a conflict of interest.
At a meeting earlier this week, Salas defended her decision to keep backing Silva over Republican Dan Smith. She said critics were disrespecting Silva’s history and goodness.
Meanwhile in the mayor’s race: Councilman John McCann held a press conference to announce that a private investigator had captured footage of his opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar, for 32 nights straight going to his girlfriend’s home in Bankers Hill.
McCann argued that Campa-Najjar doesn’t live in Chula Vista, but his presser isn’t getting the reception he expected. “John McCann stalks political opponent” was KUSI’s headline. The TV station also noted that Campa-Najjar’s visits to a condo in San Diego are not illegal.
Campa-Najjar called McCann’s efforts a “circus show.”