Friday, May 25 , 2018, 10:08 am | Mostly Cloudy 63º


Letter to the Editor: Mike Stoker Looks Ahead to 2012

I just want to thank you all so much for your help and support. A candidate could not have better supporters.

Now, to talk about the good and bad news regarding this past election.

The bad news: For whatever reason, California was the only state in the country where the Democratic vote surged at the end and the Republican vote tanked. For that reason, California was the only state where Republicans lost by large double-digit margins and Democrats made overall gains. For instance, in the Assembly, the Democrats actually picked up a seat.

Now for the good news: There was only one other non-incumbent Republican running for either the state Assembly or state Senate who outperformed our race when you consider the Democratic registration edge contrasted to the win or loss margin. For instance, our district has a 21 percent Democratic edge, and I lost by 7 percent — meaning a margin of 14 percent swing that we picked up.

And now for the really good news: In 2012, our Assembly district will be redrawn by the California Redistricting Commission. The new districts should be announced next August or September. One of the heaviest weighted goals for drawing districts is keeping a county whole. The next highest goal is keeping cities whole. When you look at Santa Barbara County, our countywide population is essentially the number of people who will be put into an Assembly district. Consequently, many of the political pundits in Sacramento have speculated for months that our new Assembly district will pick up the rest of northern Santa Barbara County and will forfeit Ventura and Oxnard. (In Ventura and Oxnard counties, we lost by more than 13 percent.)

If the 35th Assembly District would have been Santa Barbara County this last Tuesday, and if you gave Das Williams the votes that the Democrat received and gave me the votes that the Republican received, we would have won by 7 percent. And it is most likely I would have received more votes than the Republican nominee as he was from San Luis Obispo County and I was a very well-liked north county member of the county Board of Supervisors in the 1990s.

My strength in northern Santa Barbara County was evident by that fact that I beat Williams by a margin of almost 70 percent to 30 percent throughout the entire Santa Ynez Valley.

Based on these facts, and after talking to more than 100 community leaders in Santa Barbara County and key people in Sacramento, I have made the decision that I am definitely going to run for Assembly in 2012 should the new district be drawn to essentially be Santa Barbara County. And while many of you have strongly urged me to run if the district essentially remains the same, I definitely will not run should that happen.

We ran a great campaign that we all can be proud of. There is nothing I would have done differently. Cory Bantilan, my campaign manager, was brilliant, and I can never thank him enough. And I can never thank you enough either.

Keep your yard sign so it’s ready to put out at the right time, and let’s all keep the powder dry and wait until August or September for the new districts to be announced. But I wanted you to be among the first to know, if Santa Barbara County becomes the new Assembly district, I am definitely in the race. And I am in it to win, which I am confident we will do with the help and support of people like you.

Thanks again for everything.

Mike Stoker
Assembly candidate

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