Santa Clara County Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr.'s resignation Friday on criminal charges prompted board President Ken Yeager to call for a special meeting Tuesday to decide how to fill Shirakawa's seat.
According to the county charter, the board must either decide to appoint someone to the vacancy or schedule an election within 45 days of Shirakawa's resignation. If the board doesn't decide by then, it would be up to the governor to appoint a replacement.
Yeager said he favors an election to "regain the trust of the voters" in District 2.
"They are the ones who need to decide who the legitimate successor should be, rather then the current supervisors," he said.
Yeager also said the decision should be made as soon as possible "to give the candidates enough time to campaign."
If the board calls for an election, it must occur within 120 days from Friday, when the seat was vacated. Interim Registrar of Voters Shannon Bushey said the cost for a special election would be $1 million.
Two people considered to be the most likely candidates are Teresa Alvarado, communications manager at the Santa Clara Valley Water District and the daughter of former county Supervisor Blanca Alvarado, who once represented Shirakawa's district, and former San Jose Vice Mayor Cindy Chavez, who heads Working Partnerships, a labor-linked think-tank.