San Diego City Council president rumored frontrunner for Red Cross CEO

Tony Young not commenting on candidacy

SAN DIEGO - San Diego City Council President Tony Young is being considered for a new, high-profile job, 10News learned.

Ret. Air Force Col. Joe Craver, who's been the CEO of the American Red Cross' San Diego chapter for the past five years, is stepping down. His office confirmed a search for a replacement is under way, but noted negotiations are confidential.

Young, 10News learned, is considered a front-runner to take over for Craver.

Mesa College political science professor Carl Luna told 10News that it could be a very good career move since Young is termed out as a council member.

"He could double or more his salary. He's not likely to be able to go to Sacramento for Assembly or Senate given the way the demographics of the district play out, so he's doing a smart career move ... if he goes," said Luna.

If Young does leave, there are two years left on his term so a special election would be called.

The San Diego County Registrar of Voters estimates the cost for a district-only special election at $355,000 to $385,000. That could be trimmed, though, by about $100,000 if it were to be tied to the special election to replace Juan Vargas in the state Senate. Vargas has been elected to Congress.

As for the impact on the City Council, Luna said, "Given the 4th District breaks heavily democratic, it's not going to change the balance of power. It'll just change the faces on the council."

10News tried to get answers from Young's office, but a representative wouldn't comment on his plans. The representative said it's not uncommon for council members to receive job offers.

Young's constituents have concerns about replacing him.

San Diegan Barbara Reid said, "I'm very sad about it if he does make that move because who's going to take care of us then?"

Resident Rodney Smith had similar thoughts, and said, "Be kind of disastrous for this area because he's done a lot of work here."

"Oh man, if he stepped down, we'd miss him a lot but that's called progress," said Darrin Boyd.

There has been no official announcement from either the Red Cross or Young's office.

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