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San Diego Facing Several Special Elections

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story mischaracterized City Clerk Elizabeth Maland's comments about the specail election for Sen. Juan Vargas' seat. It is not yet known when a special election for the State Senate seat will be called.

Aired 12/7/12 on KPBS News.

Elections and resignations have led to a game of political musical chairs in south San Diego County. But different deadlines and jurisdictions means it’s unlikely one special election can sort everything out.

— The election of state Senator Juan Vargas to Congress has set off a domino effect in his district. Current Assemblyman Ben Huseo has announced he’ll run for Vargas’ state Senate seat.

And labor leader Lorena Gonzalez says she’ll run for Hueso’s Assembly seat if it winds up empty.

At the same time, San Diego Councilman Tony Young has announced he’s resigning to take over the local Red Cross, so his seat needs to be filled.

San Diego City Clerk Elizabeth Maland says there was a possibility the elections to replace Young and Vargas could have been held at the same time. But she says now it doesn’t look like the timing will work out.

"The City Council would probably not be able to think about consolidating,” she said, “since our charter states that the legislative body needs to call and hold the special election to fill that vacancy of, in this case, Councilmember Young, within 90 of the vacancy.”

Maland said Young would likely resign at the end of December, which means an election would need to be held in March. The governor will declare a special election for Vargas’ seat, which will likely happen this Spring.

An election simply to replace Young could cost San Diego about $400,000.

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