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Friday, December 14 , 2018, 2:43 am | Fair 50º


With Santa Barbara Council Election Up for Grabs, Schwartz Leads Pack in Fundraising

Voters can hand-deliver ballots to one of five drop-off centers until 8 p.m. Tuesday

Results for Tuesday’s vote-by-mail Santa Barbara City Council election should be in soon after polling places close at 8 p.m., but complications with the mail-only election last year left city staff counting and recounting votes until 2 a.m.

On the money front, there was a spike in fundraising in the month before Tuesday’s election, and campaign finance documents filed last week showed challenger Deborah Schwartz leading the pack with $101,099 total, and she still has $18,273 in the bank.

                              |  2011 Election Coverage |  Complete Series Index  |

The highest amounts spent by a City Council candidate recently were $89,063 by Iya Falcone in 2005, $83,744 by Das Williams in 2007 and $95,932 by John Thyne in 2009.

Historically, Santa Barbara City Council election results have linked big fundraising numbers with being the top vote-getters.

The biggest coffers won the 2005 and 2007 city elections, but in 2009, Thyne, the top fundraiser in the council race, came in eighth of 13 contenders.

That year’s city election also had an unprecedented influx of about $700,000 from Texas developer Randall Van Wolfswinkel, who strongly backed the building heights initiative and supportive candidates.

There is no high-rolling donor of that caliber this year, but there also are no hot-button initiatives — just three council seats are up for grabs, and the incumbents are all fighting to keep their spots.

Falcone has almost $13,000 left of her $83,904 in funds, while Cathy Murillo has spent almost all of her money, totaling about $83,000.

Appointed Councilman Randy Rowse has raised $82,598 this year, beating fellow incumbents Michael Self and Dale Francisco. Self, who was elected in 2009 to serve out the rest of Mayor Helene Schneider’s two-year-council term, raised $75,617 to Francisco’s $74,191 as of Nov. 2 documents, but Self has $11,796 in outstanding debt.

Challenger Sharon Byrne has raised $31,673 total this year and has a little more than $1,000 in the bank.

Challengers Sebastian Aldana Jr., Cruzito Cruz and Jerry Matteo did not raise enough money to file campaign finance documents with the city.

As of Friday afternoon, about 12,800 ballots had been received by the City Clerk’s Office out of 45,000 mailed out to registered voters — around 28 percent.

All ballots must be received by 8 p.m. Tuesday. Voters can hand deliver their ballots to the following drop-off centers from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday:

» City Hall, 735 Anacapa St.

» Braille Institute Santa Barbara Regional Center, 2031 De la Vina St.

» Grace Lutheran Church, 3869 State St.

» Pilgrim Terrace Homes, 649 Pilgrim Terrace Drive

» Santa Barbara Municipal Tennis Center, 1414 Park Place

Residents with questions about their ballot or the election can call the City Clerk’s Office at 805.564.5309.

                              |  2011 Election Coverage |  Complete Series Index  |

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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