Saturday, February 6 , 2016, 9:41 pm | Fair 51º

Williams Edges Out Stoker for 35th District Assembly Seat

The Santa Barbara city councilman says he's ready to help tackle the state's budget woes

Das Williams celebrates with supporters Tuesday night in Santa Barbara after being elected to the state Assembly in the 35th District.
Das Williams celebrates with supporters Tuesday night in Santa Barbara after being elected to the state Assembly in the 35th District.  (John Conroy photo /

By Lara Cooper, Noozhawk Staff Writer | updated logo |

Assembly candidate Das Williams celebrated with supporters Tuesday night in downtown Santa Barbara after winning a close race to represent the 35th District in Sacramento.

Williams, a Democrat, beat Republican opponent Mike Stoker and claimed the seat by racking up 33,088 votes, or 52.4 percent of the vote in Santa Barbara County, according to final election results early Wednesday morning. Stoker received 29,887 votes, or 47.33 percent in Santa Barbara County.

In Ventura County, Williams received 24,085 votes, or 55.5 percent, to Stoker’s 19,307 votes, or 44.5 percent.

The 36-year-old Williams has been a Santa Barbara city councilman since 2003 and was barred by term limits from seeking a third term next year.

Last year, just after he made it clear he would run for the Assembly, Williams said he wanted to continue serving the community rather than retire from politics. A former teacher, Williams also worked in the Capitol for then-Assemblywoman Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, who was first elected in 1998 and went on to serve three terms in Sacramento before being termed out herself. Williams defeated Susan Jordan in a bruising Democratic primary in June.

Last month, Williams shared with Noozhawk some of his plans to get the state budget back on track. With the state considering more layoffs to save money, Williams said that wouldn’t be the right move with nearly 13 percent of California’s population unemployed.

“I think that’s very dangerous and would compound our economic woes. These aren’t faceless bureaucrats,” he said, adding that teachers, construction teams and the like are all part of the casualties, if approved. “That would damage the economy and the recovery.”

Williams, an advocate for public education, has said the state’s school system is “the best thing we have going.”

He said the rough budget talks he has been a part of on the City Council have been valuable experience. Carrying that experience to Sacramento is something Williams said he feels equipped to do, but he acknowledges that the Legislature will be a whole different ballgame.

“It’s so huge of a problem that it is not factual to say that you can solve the whole problem either by cuts or by revenues,” Williams said. “It’s got to be some of both. It’s got to be a balanced approach.”

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @laraanncooper or @NoozhawkNews. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

» on 11.03.10 @ 10:35 AM

Hopefully losing to a weak Das Williams will convince Mike Stoker that his numerous charades (this time as a moderate) will never result in him representing Santa Barbara in office.
  Every time I heard “Stoker” and ” environment” used in the same sentence , I just wanted to barf.

» on 11.03.10 @ 11:39 AM

“A former teacher, Williams…”
Wasn’t he a former employee of the SEIU and only a part time teacher at UCSB?

» on 11.03.10 @ 12:30 PM

Will this defeat finally spell the end of Mike Stoker’s public office career?

Will the Greka Oil Company clean prevent another environmental disaster?

Both Stoker and Greka should move to an oil producing red state.

» on 11.03.10 @ 01:07 PM

The good news is Das will no longer be on SB City Council.  The bad news is that he is now our State Assemblyman.  Another bad move by the voters of SB county, blinded by their obeisance to the Demachine.

» on 11.03.10 @ 01:15 PM

This will prove interesting when the final totals are in and the distribution in the County.  (read that as UCSB)

As a former student, resident, and voter the IV vote is becoming an embarrassment of fraud and ignorant voting.  Das will continue his pro spending ways.  He has made it clear government owned housing, increased government backed pensions, and over paid government workers(?) are where he lives. 

Talking election night with a Democrat who voted for Stoker his comment was if it was not for the un-informed student and under 25 voters he would not stand a chance.  There is a reason people become more conservative as they age.  It is called reality.

Unfortunately for this area the Utopians and Luddites out number people who work in the private sector.

» on 11.03.10 @ 02:38 PM

At least he Is out of Santa Barbara for awhile.

» on 11.03.10 @ 02:46 PM

Does anyone really know this clown’s educational background? He reminds me of Jack O’Connell, who goes from one guvmint job to another.

» on 11.03.10 @ 04:32 PM

Hold onto your wallet—union puppet..

» on 11.03.10 @ 06:35 PM

The phony green jobs man—Come on? He will chase even more real jobs and companies out of Calif—We are going bankrupt because of Government unions and lazy Welfare loser’s. The private sector worker cant support so many on the dole.

50% now on the dole…WOW

» on 11.04.10 @ 12:38 AM

The remarkable part of this election is that a Democrat with all the obvious flaws that Das exhibits can handily defeat the Republican who ran TV ads non-stop for months because Stoker was an even weaker candidate.

These are the two best and brightest that SB can produce?

As for Stoker finally dropping out of politics - don’t be silly. His never-ending quest for power and influence will go on until he is finally elected to SOMETHING!

» on 11.04.10 @ 12:19 PM

The same idiots who put Das in, re-elected Capps and an air head senator, but topped themselves by electing an old tired hippie retread. God help us all! We now have the number one spot no one else wants, the dubious distinction of being the example of what not to do. Hmmmm, liberal/progressives have always delighted in having California be the number one state, now we are once again. Even your socialist friends in Europe laugh at you now.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.