With redistricting and open primaries, California elections are in for a big shakeup this year. The impact is certainly being felt in Santa Barbara County, with a number of candidates already running — and fundraising — for the June 5 primary.
California’s legislative and congressional districts were redrawn by a citizen’s committee last year and the new maps have — so far — survived legal challenges. In addition, the county’s five supervisorial districts were also redrawn; the Board of Supervisors supported a resident-drawn map only to later disregard it and adopt a map put together by 1st District Supervisor Salud Carbajal. (Scroll down the page for a copy of the new supervisorial districts map.)
Changes from the current county map include moving Santa Barbara’s San Roque neighborhood north of State Street and the remote North County community of Cuyama to the 1st District; moving the Santa Barbara Airport and a section of Goleta north of Highway 101 to the 2nd District; and moving Guadalupe to the 3rd District — a move Guadalupe Mayor Lupe Alvarez called gerrymandering.
In the June 5 primary election, meanwhile, voters can support any candidate for state offices and Congress, regardless of political party affiliation, and the two top vote-getters will face off in the Nov. 6 general election — again, regardless of party affiliation. The open-primary rules don’t apply to presidential candidates and candidates for local offices and county party central committees, according to the Secretary of State.
With the filing period for local hopefuls in the June 5 primary beginning Feb. 13, Noozhawk took a look at some of the bigger races coming up this year, as well as the new district boundaries.
Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors
In the June election, three districts are up for four-year terms. If there is no winner, there will be a run-off election in November.
» 1st District: Incumbent Salud Carbajal is running for re-election to represent the South Coast areas of Carpinteria, Summerland, Montecito and most of Santa Barbara. Carole Lieff, a Montecito resident, has pulled petition papers but has yet to file them, according to the county Elections Office. Lieff runs the Santa Barbara Watchdog blog and has written “Art Advisor” columns for the Montecito Journal.
Carbajal raised $190,400 in 2011, according to his semi-annual reports filed last week.
» 3rd District: Incumbent Doreen Farr is running for re-election to represent northern Goleta, Isla Vista, the Santa Ynez Valley and Guadalupe. Farr will face a familiar opponent: Santa Ynez businessman Steve Pappas, who lost the 2008 election by 806 votes and has spent almost three years in a lawsuit challenging the results. Superior Court Judge Colleen Sterne has ordered Pappas to pay Farr’s attorney’s fees in the case and the Secretary of State has said no criminal fraud charges will be filed.
In 2011, Pappas had $18,200 on hand but hadn’t been bringing in contributions for the latter part of the year. Farr’s semi-annual financial reports are not yet available.
» 4th District: Incumbent Joni Gray is running for re-election to represent North County areas, including Lompoc and Orcutt. Santa Maria farmer Peter Adam, of Adam Brothers Family Farms, will challenge her.
In 2011, Adam raised $22,799 and he is heavily supported by the agricultural community in his campaign contributions. Gray’s semi-annual reports show she had $32,250 in contributions for 2011 but wasn’t actively fundraising for the latter part of the year.
Local Ballot Measures
» The Santa Barbara Unified School District will put a $54 per parcel tax on the June 5 ballot to help fund programs after a 2008 parcel tax expires in 2013.
» Voters in the city of Santa Barbara will decide whether the Veronica Meadows development’s main access road and bridge can be built across Arroyo Burro Creek on public park land along Las Positas Road.
Santa Barbara County is split into two Assembly districts and redistricting puts the South Coast in the 37th District, along with northern Ventura County through Oxnard. The North County, including Lompoc and Vandenberg Village, are now in the 35th District with San Luis Obispo County. (Scroll down the page for copies of the new 35th and 37th Assembly district maps.)
» First-term Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara, currently represents the 35th District but has filed paperwork to run for the 37th District seat. He raised $242,854 last year.
» Democrat Gerard Manata of Paso Robles has filed paperwork signaling his intent to seek the 35th District seat.
The state Supreme Court last month upheld the newly redistricted Senate maps after a challenge from the California Republican Party. The new 19th Senate District includes Santa Barbara County and northern Ventura County, from Santa Maria to the north down to Camarillo and Fillmore. (Scroll down the page for a copy of the new 19th Senate District map.)
» In the 19th District, Democrats Jason Hodge
and Hannah-Beth Jackson are both aggressively campaigning and fundraising for the nomination. Hodge, a Ventura County firefighter and Port of Hueneme commissioner, is the husband of Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco. Jackson represented Santa Barbara for three terms in the Assembly and narrowly lost a hard-fought Senate race to Strickland in 2008.
Jackson raised $309,256 last year while Hodge collected $188,657.
One of the most oddly drawn congressional districts in the country, the former 23rd District snaked along the Central Coast from Oxnard up to the border of San Luis Obispo and Monterey counties. Meanwhile, the bulk of inland Santa Barbara and Ventura counties was in the 24th District. New maps have redrawn the 24th District to represent all of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. (Scroll down the page for a copy of the new 24th Congressional District map.)
As of Dec. 31, Capps had $1.03 million on hand and Maldonado had $640,299. Maldonado has raised far less in contributions from individuals and committees — with about $463,000 to Capps’ $1.05 million — and made $750,000 loans to himself in the last election cycle, according to Federal Election Commission documents.
» Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Simi Valley, who currently represents the 24th District, which includes much of the Santa Ynez Valley, has announced his retirement from Congress. Strickland is among the candidates who have declared their candidacies for Ventura County’s new 26th District.