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Wednesday, January 23 , 2019, 6:04 am | Fair 37º


Mike Stoker Kicks Off State Senate Campaign in Santa Barbara

Councilman Frank Hotchkiss among speakers at event at Carriage and Western Art Museum

Stoker for Senate 2012 kicked off the campaign with a huge turnout at the Carriage and Western Art Museum in Santa Barbara on Thursday night.

More than 300 people were in attendance and more than $30,000 was raised. Former Rep. Bob Lagomarsino and Santa Barbara City Councilman Frank Hotchkiss spoke at the event. Brooks Firestone, a former assemblyman and county supervisor, had intended to speak must had to cancel at the last minute. Written comments prepared by him were read to the crowd.

Andrew Firestone, famous from his stint on The Bachelor, was master of ceremonies.

“I have known Mike for almost 40 years,” Lagomarsino said. “Watching him from the first time he entered public service, he is the one person who reminds me of one of my colleagues in the Congress. That person was Jack Kemp. Mike is the only person who I know who has the passion, energy and integrity to serve public office for all the right reasons. And, like Jack did, he gets the job done by working with everyone, reaching across the isle and always working in a bipartisan way.”

Brooks Firestone added: “Since the time we’ve both been involved with public service I’ve known Mike, and I can say there is no one more committed to constituent accessibility and service and working in a bipartisan way than Mike. And he has a proven track record for having accomplished budget and regulatory reform in Santa Barbara County — an accomplishment that earned him ‘Most Valuable Public Official in County Government in America’ by Governing magazine in 1992. And I can tell you budget and regulatory reform is exactly what Sacramento needs.”

“For me it’s very simple,” Hotckiss said. “Those of us representing cities, counties or schools have two choices regarding candidates running for state office — those who will put state government before local government, and those who will put local government before state government. For the last four years, the Hannah-Beth Jacksons in the Legislature have cut cities, counties and schools without imposing one mandatory layoff of a state employee. Those cuts have caused cities, counties and schools to lay off, on the average, 22 percent of our respective labor forces. Mike has made the promise he won’t consider one proposed state budget that takes one more cent from cities, counties or schools until the state has laid off 22 percent of its labor force to match what they’ve done to local government.

“Mike puts local government before state government, and Jackson, supported by the powerful state public employee unions, puts state government before us. So for me and for the sake of cities, counties and schools, the choice is clear — Mike Stoker for Senate!”

Stoker, after receiving a one-minute standing ovation with the crowed cheering, “We like Mike,” briefly addressed the crowd.

“I want to personally thank each and everyone you. I am honored and humbled by your support,” he said. “This is not about me. This is about us. There will be times down the road to contrast the differences between myself and Hannah-Beth ‘Taxin’’ Jackson, but let me assure you the contrast couldn’t be more clear when it comes to pension reform, job creation, budget reform, taxes and regulatory reform. For tonight, let me just leave it at this. Hannah-Beth may want to redefine herself as Action Jackson, but by Election Day in November everyone we still know she is Taxin Jackson and in addition know her as Job Killing Jackson and Partisan Jackson. And in tough economic times like these, I don’t know which of these three Action Jacksons is worst. What I do know, with Hannah-Beth you get all three.

“My friends, this is the most critical race in the state. Our seat is considered the firewall from the Democrats getting a super majority in the state Senate. And I am one of those that believe it is not healthy for democracy when any party has a super majority in the Legislature. The good news is there have been three polls, and those polls have us up 5 percent, 7 percent and 7 percent on Jackson. Thanks to you all becoming a part of Team Stoker and the thousands of other Team Stoker supporters, we’re going to work hard and stay up in those polls right up to Election Day. We’ve done it before and we can do it again. I am looking forward, with your help, to going to Sacramento and being a role model for what a bipartisan legislator who can get the job done is all about.”


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