11 candidates vie for District 4 seat

Special election to be held March 26

SAN DIEGO - Eleven candidates have filed nominations papers to run in the March 26 special election for the open San Diego City Council seat in District 4, the City Clerk's Office reported Friday.

Friday was the deadline for filing the papers, which must include 100 valid signatures of supporters. The signatures are verified by the city clerk's staff before candidates officially qualify for the ballot.

The hopefuls are:
-- Rafael Bautista-Ramirez;
-- Bianca Lopez Brown, a teacher and businesswoman who is the only candidate to have signatures verified so far
-- Myrtle Cole, a former lieutenant with the San Diego Community College Police Department who has won endorsements from Democratic Party leaders and unions
-- Dwayne Crenshaw, executive director of San Diego Pride and a longtime community activist
-- Jimmie Johnson
-- Monica Montgomery, a lawyer who specializes in finance
-- Barry Pollard, an electronics industry employment recruiter
-- Ray Smith, listed as a pastor and developer
-- Sandy Spackman, a Laotian immigrant who grew up in San Diego and has drawn support from the Asian community
-- Tony Villafranca, a community volunteer
-- Bruce Williams, who is listed as a senior community policy adviser

If someone wins more than 50 percent of the vote, they will take the office outright. Otherwise, the top two vote-getters will face each other in a runoff.

The eventual winner will replace Tony Young, who resigned after six years in office to become CEO of the San Diego and Imperial Counties chapter of the American Red Cross.

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