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Local News

Hannah-Beth Jackson Wins State Senate Seat, May Give Democrats Supermajority

Democrat Hannah-Beth Jackson won the 19th state Senate District seat Tuesday, piling up 53 percent of the vote against Republican Mike Stoker.

“I’m very excited to go back to Sacramento to work on the behalf of this community, to invest in education, protect the environment, and balance the needs of the economy with preserving the planet and quality of life,” the former assemblywoman said.

Jackson said she also wants to help her constituents get access to health care and protect a woman’s right to choose, she said at her Election Night victory party. These are all things people in the community care about, she said, promising that she’ll fight hard for them.

“This election is a real statement about the fact that people believe we are a community and we have to strive to bring everybody forward, and do it in a way that respects human dignity,” she said.

Jackson won 52.82 percent of Santa Barbara County’s votes and 55.97 percent of Ventura County’s, with 54 precincts still uncounted in the latter.

With Jackson’s election, the Democrats who control the state Senate are closing in on the two-thirds supermajority they need to approve tax increases, pass legislation and override gubernatorial vetoes without regard to minority Republicans.

Jackson and Stoker both have political experience — Jackson as a legislator and Stoker as a Santa Barbara county supervisor — and each has roots in the private sector as attorneys.

During their campaigns, both candidates pledged to create a better climate for job creation. Jackson’s priorities are to invest in education and the environment, while Stoker urged state employee pension reform and called for action on California’s chronic budget crisis.

By Oct. 25, campaign finance reports showed that Jackson had raised three times as much as Stoker, bringing her fundraising total to almost $1 million for the year.

In 2010, Stoker lost the race for the 35th Assembly District seat against Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara, and he lost a congressional bid against Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, in 2000.

Jackson narrowly lost the 2008 19th Senate District race against Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Thousand Oaks, who now lives outside the boundaries of the new 19th District. On Tuesday night, Strickland was elected to Congress.

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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