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Chula Vista to consider special election if candidate who died is elected in November

Simon Silva, a longtime deputy in the City Attorney's Office, lost his battle with cancer earlier this month.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Chula Vista officials are preparing for a possible special election if a man who recently died is elected to office. Simon Silva lost his battle with cancer earlier this month.

Silva was a longtime deputy in the City Attorney's Office and was one of two candidates running for city attorney. The deadline to change the ballot has already passed.

If Silva receives the majority of the votes in November, the seat would be considered vacant and require a special election. But some people have raised concerns it would be too costly.

There was a tense exchange at Tuesday night's city council meeting, when a resident asked Mayor Mary Casillas Salas why she is still supporting a deceased candidate.

"Why Madam Mayor are you promoting Simon Silva for office by placing a sign in your front yard? That puzzles me and it makes me feel like our City Council and our mayor are playing politics," the resident said.

The mayor responded by saying she has the sign in her yard in honor of Silva's memory.

"I think it's shameful that you're bringing this up. I have his sign in memory of him as a gesture of respect, and so I think the only ones that are being disrespectful here are the ones that are talking about us playing politics with this," the mayor said.

Write-in candidates won't be allowed for this race in November because it is a runoff election between the two candidates that advanced in the primary. Silva, who was a registered Democrat, was set to run against registered Republican Dan Smith.  

CBS 8 did reach out to the Mayor of Chula Vista for comment, but she has not responded. Election results are still several weeks away.

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