A candidate for Mission Viejo City Council was found dead in his home last night, authorities confirmed.
William Barker, 72, is believed to have died of cardiac arrest. He was one of 11 candidates vying for three open spots in the heated local election. Coroner's investigators were sent to his home about 4 a.m., Daily News reports. A statement from the city clerk said Barker had a history of diabetes and hypertension.
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Public safety and transparency of city accounting methods were priorities for Barker, an engineer.
He wrote on his website: "My public service philosophy is simple, listen to the people, determine their needs and the will of the majority and don't be afraid to take a public stand."
Barker's name appears on ballots in today's election. If he earns enough votes to win a council seat, council members may decide to either call a special election or appoint someone to his seat.