Thursday, January 17, 2013
This is an election cycle on an accelerated timeline. In a little more than 60 days, candidates will face off in San Diego's District 4 special election to fill the seat of former City Councilman Tony Young. Young resigned to head up the local chapter of the American Red Cross.
There’s one spot available, roughly two months to campaign, and, so far, 14 potential candidates for San Diego’s District 4 City Council seat.
Right now there are 14 people listed as potential candidates with the San Diego City Clerk’s office. Those are people who’ve signed a form saying they intend to run. They then need to attend an orientation at the City Clerk’s office and receive nominating papers. City Clerk Elizabeth Maland said, so far, 11 people have completed the orientation with a 12th scheduled to go through it on Friday.
Candidates will become official once they pay a $200 fee and turn in their nominating papers, along with the valid signatures of at least 100 registered district voters. Tomorrow is the first day potential candidates can turn their papers in. Maland said it can be a complicated process that not everyone completes.
"Just as an example," she said, "(in) the 2012 mayoral race, we had 13 potential candidates submit their paperwork for that June primary and only 5 ending up qualifying. And that had to do with the signatures that were gathered."
The race is further complicated by local and state laws that dictate candidates must live within the pre-redistricting boundaries of District 4. The lines were recently changed when City Council districts were redrawn to incorporate the new ninth district. However, since Young was elected using the old boundaries, his successor must be as well.
Potential candidates have until 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 25 to turn everything in. Then comes a sprint to the March 26 primary. If no candidate wins with more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote-getters will move on to a run-off election. A date for the run-off has not yet been set.