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Tuesday, January 22 , 2019, 5:24 am | Fair 54º


Local Democrats Celebrate New Campaign Headquarters

The Santa Barbara County Democratic Party opens a hub in downtown Santa Barbara for the elections.

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Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, speaks to the crowd at the grand opening Thursday of the Santa Barbara County Democratic Party’s downtown campaign headquarters. (Sonia Fernandez / Noozhawk photo)

Local Democratic candidates and a couple hundred of their supporters got together Thursday evening to mark the grand opening of their 2008 campaign headquarters in downtown Santa Barbara.

Located at 430 Chapala St., at the corner of Chapala and Haley and rented by the Santa Barbara County Democratic Party,  the “Headquarters for Change” houses the offices for the re-election campaign of 35th District Assemblyman Pedro Nava, as well as former Assemblywoman Hannah-Beth Jackson‘s campaign for state Senate.

The space, however, also will be used to support party-endorsed candidates, from local agencies to the White House.

“Right here we have the bitchin-est headquarters in the history of the Santa Barbara Democratic Party,” Santa Barbara County Democratic Party chairman Daraka Larimore-Hall shouted to an equally excited crowd.

According to Larimore-Hall, this is the first time in about 30 years that the local Democratic Party has set up coordinated campaign headquarters for its candidates. Leading up to the 2004 elections, he said, local supporters of the Howard Dean campaign brought their energy to the Santa Barbara Democratic scene. Although Dean never made it to the nomination, the momentum continued.

“Now it can be a home for the new activists that are supporting Clinton and Obama.” Volunteers looking to support their candidates’ campaigns can show up from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., he said.

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There was plenty of Barack Obama memorabilia available at Thursday’s grand opening of the Democratic campaign headquarters in downtown Santa Barbara. (Sonia Fernandez / Noozhawk photo)
Speaking to the charged crowd were the Democratic candidates for this year’s elections, including Jackson, Rep. Lois Capps and 3rd District Supervisor candidate Doreen Farr.

“This is a district that was designed to be a very, very right-wing district,” Jackson said. “We are going to take this district because the people of the 19th Senate District have said they’ve had enough of this partisanship. They’ve had enough of government not being able to help and protect the people.”

The enthusiastic assembly was let out with a more sobering thought, however. Tim Allison, team leader for Santa Barbara for Obama, reminded the audience about this time four years ago.

John Kerry was ahead six points in the polls three months before the election,” he said. “There is a lot to do in the next three months, and we need all hands on deck.”

Noozhawk staff writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at [email protected]

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