A candidate for the Mission Viejo City Council was found dead in his home early Tuesday from an apparent heart attack, officials said.
William Barker, 72, a former city commissioner, was active in Mission Viejo politics and a longtime city resident. He was one of 12 candidates running for three open seats, City Clerk Karen Hamman said.
"He did have some health problems, from what I'm told," Hamman said in a telephone interview.
Barker's name remained on the ballot. If he is elected, the City Council can either appoint someone to the seat or call a special election, Hamman said.
Barker was a civil engineer. From 2005 to 2007, he served on the city's Community Services Commission,
Campaign signs for Barker were displayed across the city on election day.
Officials said they believe Barker was the first Mission Viejo candidate to die while running for office.