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Races in June Primary Election Taking Shape as March Filing Deadline Nears

Ballot includes several county jobs, a Santa Barbara City Council seat, judges, local measures and more

A ballot box stands outside the Santa Barbara County Elections Office. Many local races — along with state and federal offices — will be on the June primary ballot in Santa Barbara County. Click to view larger
A ballot box stands outside the Santa Barbara County Elections Office. Many local races — along with state and federal offices — will be on the June primary ballot in Santa Barbara County. (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk photo)

A pair of Santa Barbara County supervisors, two top law enforcement officers, a Santa Barbara City Council member and a number of other county and state jobs will appear on the June primary election ballots, with races shaping up for some slots that typically run unopposed.

The candidate filing period runs through March 9. However, in races where the incumbent chooses not to seek re-election, the filing period would be extended for newcomers only to March 14.

Here’s a look at how the June 5 races are shaping up so far although many candidates have not necessarily been qualified yet to appear on the ballot:

Santa Barbara County

While one incumbent county supervisor, the Fifth District’s Steve Lavagnino, appears unlikely to face a challenger, the retirement of the Second District’s Janet Wolf has set the stage for a race.

Susan Epstein, a member of the Goleta Union School District board of trustees, and Santa Barbara City Councilman Gregg Hart have announced they will seek the job of representing the Second District.

That district encompasses portions of western Santa Barbara and the eastern Goleta Valley, as well as neighborhoods from the top of San Marcos Pass to More Mesa and Goleta Beach. 

Lavagnino, who announced his re-election bid in July, apparently will not face an opponent as he seeks a third term on the board. As of Friday, he had not yet filed his paperwork.

Other county jobs, such as those filled by Sheriff Bill Brown, District Attorney Joyce Dudley and Treasurer-Tax Collector-Public Administrator Harry Hagen, won’t involve contested races. 

Appointed County Schools Superintendent Susan Salcido, who attended Santa Maria High School, will make her first run for the job held for decades by her retired boss and mentor, Bill Cirone.

She did not have an opponent as of Friday.

However, a pair of elected officer-holders in typically overlooked jobs will face challengers.

Clerk-Recorder-Assessor Joe Holland will be challenged by Mbazulike Donald Ofiaeli, a deputy assessor, while the race for auditor-controller will feature Betsy Schaffer, assistant auditor-controller, being challenged by Jennifer Christensen, who currently serves as county investment officer and previously ran to represent the county's First District as supervisor, losing in June 2016 to Das Williams.

The job of auditor-controller is now filled by Theo Fallati, who was appointed to the job in March 2016 to replace Bob Geis, who held the job for 25 years.

Santa Barbara City Council 

Some Santa Barbara residents will chose a council member. After debate, the City Council agreed to let voters pick who should fill the District 3 slot left empty by Cathy Murillo’s election as mayor. 

The nomination period opened Feb. 12 and runs through March 9, city staff said.

Before the council chose to use an election, nine people had applied to be appointed to fill the vacant seat to represent Santa Barbara’s Westside.

Candidates should contact the City Clerk’s office at 805.564.5309 to schedule an appointment to receive candidacy documents. The City Clerk’s office is located at Santa Barbara City Hall, 735 Anacapa Street.

State Offices

Jobs of governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, insurance commissioner and others at the state level will appear on the priimary ballot in June.

For the 37th Assembly District, Democratic incumbent Monique Limon seeks re-election. She may face David Norrdin, a Democrat from Ventura, who has filed to run but had not been qualified.

That district encompasses the Santa Ynez Valley and South Coast along with pieces of Ventura County and a small piece of southeastern San Luis Obispo County..

For the 35th Assembly District, Templeton Republican incumbent Jordan Cunningham will see a challenger in San Luis Obispo Democrat Bill Ostrander.

That district encompasses the Santa Maria, Lompoc and Cuyama valleys, along with most of San Luis Obispo County.

Assembly terms are for two years. 

24th Congressional District

First-term incumbent Salud Carbajal will see a familiar face in the race — his prior challenger, Republican Justin Fareed, along with a newcomer, Michael Erin Woody, also a Republican.

Two years ago, Carbajal topped Fareed in the race to replace Congresswoman Lois Capps. 

The top two voter-getters in the race will head to a run-off in November.

Local Measures 

A number of local measures will go before voters in June:  

» Measure T, a Santa Barbara County Cannabis Operations General Tax. Voters will decide if cannabis operators within unincorporated areas of the county should be taxed upon their gross receipts with rates of 1 percent on nurseries and distributors, 3 percent on manufacturers, 4 percent on cultivators and 6 percent on retailers and microbusinesses. If approved the new tax would raise between $5 million and $25 million annually for law enforcement, health care, parks, roads and others, with no end date.

» Measure S, Hope School District Parcel Tax. With a $79 per parcel assessment, the measure to raise $360,000 would support academic excellence; maintain safe facilities; fund science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs; protect art/music programs; and provide stable funding the state cannot eliminate. The measure will be in place for five years and would include an option for senior citizens and disabled landowners to opt out of the tax.

» Measure Q, a Lompoc Unified School District Bond, to raise $79 million for aging facilities, including to repair or replace leaky roofs; upgrade inadequate electrical systems; construct/modernize classrooms, restrooms/schools; replace outdated heating, air-conditioning systems; and more. If approved, property owners would pay $0.06 per $100 assessed value (estimated to generate $7 million annually) through approximately 2054.

» Measure R, the Isla Vista Community Services District Utility User Tax. This effort seeks to fund local improvements to parking, public safety, lighting, and sidewalks; provide tenant mediation services; create a municipal advisory council; and operate community facilities and events. Voters are being asked to approve a utility user tax of 8 percent of the service charge for utilities of gas, water, electricity, sewer, and garbage disposal. The measure is expected to generate approximately $642,000 a year until voters decide to end it.

Judicial Jobs

A number of judicial slots also will appear on the ballot countywide.

The six-year terms are now filled by South Coast Judges Colleen Sterne, Raimundo Montes De Oca , James E. Herman, Donna Geck and Clifford R. Anderson III.

In the North County, seats filled by Judges Timothy J. Staffel, Arthur Garcia and Patricia Kelly also are up for grabs. 

None of the judges appears to face any challengers for their jobs. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully 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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