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Angel Martinez Raises Unprecedented $323,640 in Bid for Santa Barbara Mayor

Angel Martinez Click to view larger
Angel Martinez

Angel Martinez, the former CEO and chairman of Deckers, has raised more money than any candidate in the history of Santa Barbara — $323,640 — in his bid to become the city's next mayor.

The amount more than doubles what current mayor Helene Schneider raised in 2009, when she was was elected in a crowded field of five candidates, and three times as much as she raised for her re-election campaign in 2013.

Martinez has run on a campaign of cracking down on the homeless, revitalizing State Street, and bringing business acumen to City Hall.

Martinez has about $53,000 left in the bank.

Martinez has spent heavily on out-of-town consultants to help shape his campaign. He has also blitzed social media and television with ads, targeting millennials and young professionals with his mantra of bringing housing to the downtown.

Martinez has received campaign contributions from a variety of business and real estate sources, including $20,000 from Lynda Weinman, founder of Lynda.com; $5,000 from Montecito Bank & Trust owner Anne Towbes; and $5,000 from James Crook, the owner of Milpas Motors.

Earlier in the campaign, Martinez spent $50,000 out of his own pocket to fund his election effort.

“Establishment candidates benefit from their name ID and political party's field organization and fund raising machines,” said Brian Robinson, Martinez’s local campaign manager. “Add on to that what labor contributes, the money Angel's campaign has raised barely levels the playing field.

"If voters want to reach out beyond the status quo for new vision and leadership, it’s going to take someone who has the capacity and support to raise the kind of money that makes him or her competitive.”

The second-highest fundraiser, Cathy Murillo, has raised $168,000 in her campaign

Murillo is backed by the Santa Barbara County Democratic Central Committee and has significant support from unions, including $10,000 from the United Food and Commercial Workers, $4,000 from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Political Action Committee, and $10,000 from the Service Employees International Union Local 620.

Murillo has run on a campaign of building affordable housing, revitalizing State Street, and environmental protection. She has about $64,000 left in the bank.

Frank Hotchkiss has raised about $80,000 in his bid for the mayor’s seat.

Hotchkiss has the backing of the Santa Barbara County Republican Party, and is the only candidate who opposes the 1 percent sales tax increase also on the ballot. Hotchkiss has not loaned any of his own money to his campaign. He has about $20,000 left in the bank. 

Hal Conklin has raised about $104,000, but $65,000 of that he loaned to himself. Conklin has less than $4,000 left to spend. 

Harwood “Bendy” White, who jumped into the race after all the other candidates had filed, has raised about $107,000. He loaned himself $40,000 for his campaign. He has about $45,000 left in the bank. 

An independent expenditure television ad has come out attacking Murillo. The group behind it spent $4,493 on the 15-second TV ad that ran during the World Series game on Tuesday.

Murillo, White and Conklin, all Democrats, are battling against Hotchkiss, the sole Republican in what is officially a non-partisan race. Martinez has attempted to cast himself as in independent candidate, and has pulled some business support from Hotchkiss.

The vote-by-mail election is Nov. 7.

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina 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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