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Assembly Candidate Mike Stoker Sets Sights on 2012 Bid

After losing Tuesday to Das Williams, he says he'll run for the 35th District seat again if boundaries are redrawn to include all of Santa Barbara County

Assembly candidate Mike Stoker lost Tuesday’s election for the 35th District seat to Democrat Das Williams, but he already has his eye on the office in 2012.

Mike Stoker
Mike Stoker

He said Thursday that he plans to run for Assembly as long as the district’s boundaries get redrawn in a way that includes all of Santa Barbara County.

“We have a great message, great organization, but no one campaigning for one candidate can overcome a state surge,” Stoker told Noozhawk. “It happened all over — that’s why I outperformed Meg Whitman by about 13 percent; a lot of people wouldn’t move for them but moved for us.”

Stoker came in with 47.33 percent of Tuesday’s vote in Santa Barbara County and 44.5 percent in Ventura County, which “outperformed every other nonincumbent Republican in the state,” he said.

He lost by six points in a district that has a 21-point Democratic lead, and he said he believes he would be able to win if the district included the entirety of Santa Barbara County and voters continue to cross party lines for him. He is well-known in the North County as he represented the area as a county supervisor.

By the time Williams is up for re-election in 2012, the California Redistricting Commission is scheduled to have redrawn the 35th Assembly District’s boundaries, as well as the state Senate and Board of Equalization districts. The maps must be approved by Sept. 15, 2011, according to the act governing the 14-member commission.

On Nov. 2, California voters approved Proposition 20 by 61 percent, which added congressional maps to the commission’s control, and shot down Proposition 27, which would have eliminated the commission and returned redistricting power to legislators.

Stoker said lawmakers and community leaders have told him he would be crazy not to run again.

So expect a campaign announcement soon after the redistricting commission’s boundary maps are made public.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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