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Local News

All 3 Legislative Seats Being Contested in Santa Barbara County in Election

Hannah-Beth Jackson, Colin Walch vie for state Senate seat; newcomers look to fill vacancies from termed-out Assemblymen Katcho Achadjian and Das Williams

State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson is running for re-election against challenger Colin Walch for the 19th District seat. Click to view larger
State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson is running for re-election against challenger Colin Walch for the 19th District seat.  (Contributed photos)

Santa Barbara County voters will decide on representatives for three districts in the Legislature on Nov. 8: the 19th State Senate District and the 35th and 37th Assembly districts.

State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, is the lone incumbent on the ballot this year, as Assemblymen Katcho Achadjian, R-San Luis Obispo, and Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara, termed out of the 35th and 37th Assembly districts, respectively.

19th State Senate District

The 19th State Senate District covers all of Santa Barbara County and most of Ventura County, and is currently represented by Jackson.

In June’s primary election, Jackson beat her Republican opponent, Colin Walch, 62 percent to 37.8 percent.

Hannah-Beth Jackson

Jackson was first elected to the Senate in 2012 after representing the 35th Assembly District from 1998 to 2004.

Hannah-Beth Jackson Click to view larger
Hannah-Beth Jackson (Contributed photo)

A graduate of Scripps College and Boston University Law School, she was a Santa Barbara County deputy district attorney, a managing partner at Eskin & Jackson, and worked at UC Santa Barbara and Antioch University Santa Barbara.

Jackson currently chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee and the California Legislative Women’s Caucus. Among other bills, she authored 2015’s California Fair Pay Act, which aims to close the pay gap between women and men by requiring equal pay for substantially similar work.

Her policy positions and legislative efforts include job-protected parental leave, stronger gun-control laws, expanded access to early childhood education and private ex parte communication with California Coastal Commission members.

Jackson’s endorsements include Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara; Santa Barbara County Supervisors Salud Carbajal and Janet Wolf; Ventura County Supervisors Steve Bennett, Kathy Long and John Zaragoza; Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley; the California Democratic Party; the California State Firefighters’ Association; the California Teachers Association; the California Nurses Association; the Sierra Club; United Farm Workers; and the California Association of Professional Scientists.

Colin Walch

Colin Walch Click to view larger
Colin Walch (Contributed photo)

Walch’s career is in hospitality management, and he was a member of the Lompoc Economic Development Committee and worked on the city’s Tourism Business Improvement District.

He has the endorsement of the Santa Barbara County and California Republican parties.

Walch says his No. 1 priority is fixing what he says is California’s unfriendly business climate, and would work to reduce prison recidivism in California.

35th Assembly District

The 35th Assembly District includes all of San Luis Obispo County, as well as Santa Maria, Lompoc and Guadalupe in Santa Barbara County.

Republican Katcho Achadjian of San Luis Obispo, who finished third in June’s 24th Congressional District primary, currently represents the district.

Democrat Dawn Ortiz-Legg finished atop June’s four-candidate primary with 39.9 percent of the vote, while Republican Jordan Cunningham took second with 34.5 percent.

Dawn Ortiz-Legg

Ortiz-Legg’s career has centered around the energy sector, and her platform revolves around job creation.

The Pepperdine University and Johns Hopkins University graduate resides in San Luis Obispo and worked on that county’s Topaz Solar Farm, one of the largest of its kind in the world.

Dawn Ortiz-Legg Click to view larger
Dawn Ortiz-Legg (Contributed photo)

Among other organizations, Ortiz-Legg is on the board of the San Luis Obispo County Economic Vitality Corporation and the Citizens Transportation Committee of the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments.

The small business owner supports the state’s stricter gun laws; increased funding for infrastructure, including water infrastructure; and building more workforce housing.

Ortiz-Legg has the support of Rep. Lois Capps; San Luis Obispo County Supervisors Bruce Gibson and Adam Hill; San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx; the California Latino Legislative Caucus; the California Federation of Teachers; and the California Democratic Party.

Jordan Cunningham

Cunningham resides in Templeton in San Luis Obispo County and is on the Templeton Unified School District board.

Jordan Cunningham Click to view larger
Jordan Cunningham (Contributed photo)

He is the owner and founder of Cunningham Law Group, and has worked as a San Luis Obispo County deputy district attorney and an attorney at the federal Justice Department. He’s a graduate of Point Loma Nazarene University and UC Berkeley.

Taxes are too high, Cunningham says, and business regulations need to be streamlined. He advocates for greater fiscal responsibility and legislative transparency in Sacramento, supports desalination as a source of new water, and supports making college more affordable, in part through cutting inefficiency and bureaucracy at public universities.

Cunningham has the backing of Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian; Santa Barbara County Supervisors Peter Adam and Steve Lavagnino; San Luis Obispo County Supervisors Debbie Arnold, Lynn Compton and Frank Mecham; Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino, Lompoc Mayor Bob Lingl, Atascadero Mayor Tim O’Malley and Pismo Beach Mayor Shelly Higginbotham; the California State Sheriffs’ Association; and the California Republican Party.

37th Assembly District

The 37th Assembly District covers the Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara County’s South Coast and most of Ventura County. The district currently is represented by Williams, who was elected in June as First District Santa Barbara County supervisor.

Democrat Monique Limón came out on top in June’s primary with 67.6 percent of the vote over Edward Fuller, who lists no party preference.

Monique Limón

Monique Limón Click to view larger
Monique Limón (Contributed photo)

A second-term Santa Barbara Unified School District school board member, Limón is the assistant director of UC Santa Barbara’s McNair Scholars Program.

The UC Berkeley and Columbia University graduate was previously the student program adviser for the California Student Opportunity and Access Program at Santa Barbara City College, director of diversity recruitment and retention with UCSB’s Graduate Division, and a member of other university and nonprofit organizations.

Limón supports expanding technical and vocational education, Common Core, stabilizing K-12 funding, more college-readiness opportunities for students and greater environmental protections.

The Goleta resident claims the support of Rep. Lois Capps; state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson; Assemblyman Das Williams; Santa Barbara County Supervisors Salud Carbajal, Doreen Farr and Janet Wolf; Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider; Ventura County Supervisors Steve Bennett and John Zaragoza; Ventura Mayor Erik Nasarenko; the California Association of Professional Firefighters; the California Association of Professional Scientists; the California Teachers Association; the Sierra Club; and the California Democratic Party.

Edward Fuller

Fuller’s career is in real estate, and he’s a member of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors and a Goleta planning commissioner.

Edward Fuller Click to view larger
Edward Fuller (Contributed photo)

He attended UCSB and SBCC, and claims the support of Santa Barbara County Supervisor Peter Adam, former Santa Barbara City Councilman Dale Francisco and the Santa Barbara County Republican Party.

Fuller supports slowing down urban growth, temporarily raising the gas tax to fund a statewide backlog of road and bridge work, and expanding solar energy use.

He supports implementing certain “valuable lessons that charter schools have documented” into public schools, but opposes for-profit charter schools.

Noozhawk staff writer Sam Goldman 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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