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William Barker, candidate for Mission Viejo City Council dies on election eve


MISSION VIEJO, Calif.–A candidate for Mission Viejo City Council died on election eve, authorities said today.

William Barker, 72, who was one of a dozen candidates running for three open seats, is believed to have died of a heart attack, City Clerk Karen Hamman said. Orange County coroner’s investigators were sent Barker’s home about 4 a.m., she said.

“I talked to him yesterday,” Hamman said. “This is the second time he ran for City Council, so I got to know him over the years.”

Barker, an engineer, served on the city’s Community Services Commission from January 2005 through 2007, Hamman said.

“He was a very nice man,” the clerk said. “He was very excited about his candidacy for City Council. A lot of residents reported seeing him on street corners with his signs and he was looking forward to being elected to the City Council.”

If Barker wins the election, the City Council has two options, Hamman said. Council members could  appoint someone to fill the vacancy or call a special election within 114 days.

Since a special election would have to be consolidated with another election, that would make the March 2011 election the next time voters could pick someone to replace him, Hamman said.