SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — The two top candidates in a race for the District 2 seat of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors appear to be heading for a runoff election.

Candidates Cindy Chavez and Teresa Alvarado are leading the pack of seven candidates in Tuesday’s special election to replace disgraced former Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr., according to unofficial results released by the county registrar.

With all precincts reporting, Chavez is leading with 7,927 votes or 41.04 percent, while Alvarado received 6,036 votes or 31.25 percent.

However, with none of the candidates garnering over 50 percent of the vote, voters will have to return to the polls to choose between the top two candidates.

“When you have seven candidates, the likelihood of a runoff is very high,” registrar’s office spokeswoman Elma Rosas said Tuesday.

The Board of Supervisors approved the special election nearly three months ago to replace Shirakawa, who resigned March 1 after the district attorney’s office filed a 12-count criminal complaint charging that he used more than $130,000 in public and campaign funds for personal use and to gamble at casinos.

He pleaded guilty later that month to four felony counts of perjury, one felony count of misuse of public funds and seven misdemeanors for filing inaccurate campaign and government finance reports and is still awaiting sentencing.

District 2 encompasses central San Jose, including City Hall and the rest of the downtown area, the County Government Center and unincorporated county land in its south, southeast and northeast sections.

The seven candidates on the ballot other than Chavez and Alvarado were Patricia Martinez-Roach, Scott Hung Pham, Joseph La Jeunesse, David S. Wall and write-in candidate Andre Abe Diaz.

Alvarado, a fiscal audit manager, and Chavez, a former San Jose City Council member, were considered among the leading candidates who would oppose one another in a potential runoff.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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