Wednesday, December 13 , 2017, 10:05 am | Smoke 55º


Local News

Incumbent Bill Brown Coasts to Victory in Sheriff’s Race

Veteran lawman easily fends off challenger Sandra Brown to earn third term in office

Sheriff Bill Brown cruised to victory Tuesday in his bid for a third four-year term as Santa Barbara County's top lawman, according to the Santa Barbara County Elections Office.

Brown received 56.8 percent of the vote in the semi-official election results, while his challenger, Sgt. Sandra Brown (no relation), tallied 43 percent.

The county election had 29.31 percent turnout and 56,837 ballots filed, according to the preliminary totals released Tuesday night. 

The incumbent sheriff took a strong lead with the first batch of absentee ballots, and did not relinquish the lead throughout the evening.

Sandra Brown, who has worked in the Sheriff's Department for almost 17 years, currently supervises the Coroner’s Office Special Investigations Bureau as a detective sergeant.

Bill Brown served as Lompoc’s police chief before being elected sheriff in 2006. He has lobbied for state money to fund the new North County Jail, which is expected to open in 2018, and wants to restore the department’s 40 vacant positions. He ran unopposed in 2010. 

Brown said he was proud of his campaign focusing on his own experience and accomplishments, and he thanked the many volunteers and staff members who helped. The results show that voters trust him, he said.

“I’m looking forward to at least another four years protecting and serving Santa Barbara County.”

With another term, he plans to restore deputy sheriff positions that were cut during the last several years. He’s also focused on building and operating the North County Jail, which he says will be a “tremendous asset” to the county.

“It will provide relief to overcrowding, inject millions of dollars into the local economy and create jobs that are so desperately needed,” Brown said.

The rehabilitative complex at the jail will be a safer environment for inmates and jail staff, giving people a better chance to return to a productive life after incarceration, he said.

Speaking on Tuesday night, he mostly wanted to express his gratitude to supporters and county voters for keeping him at the helm of the “greatest law enforcement team anywhere.”

Sandra Brown, an Orcutt resident, campaigned heavily for a change of philosophy within the department. She said the Sheriff’s Department has low morale within its ranks and the leadership focuses too much on incarceration.

She could not be reached for comment Tuesday night. 

She has also criticized the staffing and response plans for Deltopia, the large street party in Isla Vista that escalated into a riot in early April.

In a forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters, she said the department needs more early interventions and higher staffing levels for events like this.

Bill Brown defended the department’s planning and response, saying there were five times as many officers as last year and no fatalities.

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.

Bill Brown
Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown, with wife Donna, celebrates his strong showing in Tuesday's election. (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk photo)

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk encourages free expression, regardless of viewpoint, but requires that such expressions be civil in tone, respectful of other commenters and relevant to the stories on which they are posted. We reserve the right to remove any comment for any reason.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree not to submit a comment that is abusive, defamatory, disrespectful, illegal, libelous, profane, vulgar or disparaging (whether on the basis of disability, ethnicity, gender, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, traits with which people are born, or otherwise).

» Agree not to submit a comment that attacks or threatens another person, threatens or promotes violence, wishes for harm to befall another person, invades another person's privacy or proprietary rights, or uses expletives (including veiled profanity).

» Agree not to stalk or harass another person, dominate the conversation, discourage participation by others, or bait, belittle, bicker with, mock or taunt others.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

» Comments with spam or self-promotional links are not allowed. Comments that include links are automatically routed to a Pending queue. Regularly checking it is not a priority of ours.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >