Two weeks after she reported raising more than $63,000 in the race to be Santa Barbara’s next mayor, Iya Falcone apparently came up short with the only numbers that count right now: The 100 signatures necessary to place her name on the Nov. 3 ballot.
Rumors of the development began circulating late Thursday afternoon, but calls to Falcone were not answered Thursday evening. Late Thursday, a city source confirmed to Noozhawk that while Falcone had submitted 118 required signatures, nearly two dozen had been ruled invalid by the city clerk’s office. As a result, the source said, her nomination papers were declared “not qualified” and her name will not appear on the ballot. Falcone could run as a write-in candidate, however.
Falcone’s possible exit from the race — and the earlier departure of fellow candidate Justin Michael — winnows the field to Steve Cushman, Dale Francisco, Isaac Garrett, Bob Hansen and Helene Schneider, all of whom have qualified for the ballot.
But it was a surprising twist for the two-term councilwoman, whom many political observers had characterized as an early front-runner. According to the Santa Barbara Independent, Falcone will conduct an independent investigation of the signatures to determine her next move. Craig Smith speculated on his blog, Craig Smith’s Blog, that an appeal or a recount request may be options.
Falcone appeared with Cushman and Schneider at the Santa Barbara County Action Network’s mayoral forum Wednesday night at the Santa Barbara Central Library’s Faulkner Gallery. The South Coast Community Coalition is hosting a mayoral forum at 6 p.m. Friday and organizers confirmed Friday that Falcone would attend the event at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort. Click here for more information on the forum.
Last month, Falcone reported raising $63,164 through June 30, with $29,564 in the bank. Among her larger contributors: the Santa Barbara Police Officers Association, $7,500 ($12,000 including other filing periods); the Santa Barbara City Firefighters Association Inc., $2,500; and the Santa Barbara County Firefighter Government Committee, $2,500.
In her February news conference announcing her candidacy, Falcone emphasized her experience and declared a commitment to get “back to basics” with public safety and infrastructure.
“The city needs strong leadership,” she said. “These are very dire times.”
An attorney and former crisis counselor, Falcone was first elected to the council in 2000. She received a bachelor’s degree in child development from Cal State Northridge, with a concentration in abnormal psychology. She earned her law degree from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. Her late husband, Vince, died last October.