Potentially crowded San Diego City Council District 4 race could put district at disadvantage

Councilman Tony Young stepping down at end of year

SAN DIEGO - San Diego's District 4 is in search of a new voice on the City Council.

Councilman Tony Young is stepping down at the end of this year to become the new head of the local American Red Cross and there is no clear heir apparent.

"You don't often see dynasties built at the city council level," political analyst Carl Luna told 10News.

Two candidates have officially announced: Brian "Barry" Pollard – a businessman who ran against Young in 2010 – and former Young opponent Republican Bruce Williams, who is now one of Young's senior advisors.

Other potential candidates include Myrtle Cole, the regional coordinator with the United Domestic Workers Local Union 3930 and Ron Lacey, the community relations representative under Mayor Jerry Sanders.

There is also Dwayne Crenshaw, the executive director of San Diego LGBT Pride. 

Crenshaw has run before and said he is close to announcing a bid.

"I am absolutely confident that this district is ready for real solutions and they want the best qualified candidate," he said.

Luna said the likelihood of having a runoff will go up if there are four or five people in the race.

The city must hold a special election within 90 days. The deadline is the end of March, based on Young's expected departure.  

If no one receives a majority of the votes, it goes to a special runoff to be held within 49 days.

"What this race does is to throw a little bit of uncertainty into the council," said Luna.

Could the delay in picking a successor put District 4 at a disadvantage?

"Early on in a mayor's administration with a new council, a lot of important decisions are going to be made," said Luna. "I mean, the pie is going to start to be divided. Without somebody at the table, that puts District 4 at a disadvantage."

When asked recently who he would endorse, Young would not say. 

Luna said his endorsement would have more weight now than in a regular election season.

While it is not impossible for the seat to go Republican and therefore, shift the balance of power on the council, Luna said it is likely to stay Democrat.

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