With no control over who fills her vacant city council seat when she steps down, District 9 Councilwoman Elisa Chan said she’s recommending Bob Leonard to fill-in until a special election in May.
“I know that Bob Leonard is someone that I think not only qualifies, but also holds that conservative view, is a result-oriented, problem-solving type of person,” Chan said. “If he applies, I will be supportive and I hope that the mayor and council will take my input into consideration.”
Chan said she’s also recommending Leonard because he has no desire to run in the special election.
“As an incumbent, you would have some advantage in fundraising capabilities and so forth, and I don’t think that’s fair,” she said.
After an application process, the remaining council members will vote on who fills Chan’s seat until the voters head to the polls for a special election in May.
While Chan believes her landslide victory in the last election is evidence that a large majority of District 9 residents want conservative leadership, some on the council believe political ideology should not play a role in their decision.
“The voters will have the opportunity to have that say at the time of the special election,” said District 2 Councilwoman Ivy Taylor. “In the interim, the most we can do is ensure that the seat is filled with someone who is qualified.”
District 10 Councilman Carlton Soules, who said he shares a similar political ideology with Chan, said a candidate’s political beliefs are less important than his or her commitment to learning the ins and outs of city government.
He said the ideal candidate is someone who would serve as a caretaker for the District 9 seat until the voters can ultimately decide.
“It needs to be someone who will not run (in the special election),” Soules said. “It's virtually impossible to come into this job, learn the job, and then run a campaign at the same time.”