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Joan Hartmann Tops Field in Third District Santa Barbara County Supervisor Race

Hartmann, Bruce Porter holding commanding lead over pack of five candidates, appear headed for November runoff

Joan Hartmann, right, with County Supervisor Janet Wolf, won the most votes in the Third District Santa Barbara County Supervisor race Tuesday night, according to semi-official election results.
Joan Hartmann, right, with County Supervisor Janet Wolf, won the most votes in the Third District Santa Barbara County Supervisor race Tuesday night, according to semi-official election results.  (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk photo)

Joan Hartmann was the top vote-getter Tuesday night among the five candidates vying for the Third District seat on the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors.

Bruce Porter started out ahead with vote-by-mail results, but after polling results came in, Hartmann took a sizeable lead with 42.8 percent of the vote to Porter's 35.5 percent, with 100 precincts reporting, according to the county Elections Office.

The two will face off in a runoff in November. 

Bob Field, Jay Freeman, Joan Hartmann, Karen Jones and Bruce Porter are running for the Board of Supervisors seat, currently represented by Doreen Farr, which stretches from Isla Vista and Goleta in the south, up to the Santa Ynez Valley to the north and Vandenberg Village to the west.

Freeman was third with 11.2 percent of the vote, well ahead of Jones, with 5.6 percent, and Field who had 4.6 percent.  

Since it’s a field of five, a candidate would need a majority of votes – 50 percent plus one – to win the seat outright in June, so the race will go to the November election.

“I’m delighted, I’m happy,” Hartmann said as results came in Tuesday night. She spent part of the night at Benchmark Eatery in Santa Barbara, where the Democratic Party candidates had an Election Night party. 

“I expect we’ll be going to November and I’m ready – and I’m going to win in November.” 

“I am confident to be in the top two and I want to congratulate all the competitors on a race well done,” Porter said at his campaign headquarters in Santa Ynez. 

“Jay Freeman ran a exceptionally positive campaign and it's been great learning about all the Third District communities.”

Third District Supervisor Results
100% Reporting Votes %
Joan Hartmann 6,553 42.8 %
Bruce Porter 5,446 35.4  %
Jay Freeman 1,722 11.2 %
Karen Jones 850 5.6 %
Bob Field 709 4.6 %

The Third District seat traditionally has been the swing vote in a frequent north-versus-south split between more conservative and liberal supervisors, respectively, though it’s a non-partisan office.

Hartmann and Porter had establishment backing from the Democratic and Republican parties, respectively, as well as six-figure fundraising campaigns.

Hartmann reported spending $185,353 by the end of May and Porter spent $231,229 by then, according to Santa Barbara County Elections Office records.

Bruce Porter appears headed for a November runoff with Joan Hartmann for the Third District seat on the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors. Click to view larger
Bruce Porter appears headed for a November runoff with Joan Hartmann for the Third District seat on the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors. (Raiza Giorgi / Santa Ynez Valley Star photo)

Freeman and Field mounted mostly self-funded campaigns, while Jones spent so little she wasn’t required to file campaign finance documentation.

Hartmann, 65, is a former Santa Barbara County Planning Commissioner with work experience in legal and budget offices for governmental agencies and environmental nonprofits.  She names locally-produced water and energy as top priorities, as well as encouraging the local agricultural industry.

Porter, 61, is a retired officer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and currently serves on the Santa Ynez Valley Union High School District board of trustees.

He says his analytical decision-making would be an asset to the county, as it was in his work and service on nonprofit boards.

Freeman, 34, is a UCSB graduate and technology consultant known for his software used to jailbreak iPhones. He's the only Isla Vista resident among the candidates. 

In Isla Vista and elsewhere, he’s been attending community meetings and advocating for unincorporated areas to have a voice in county government, since they have no direct representation other than the Board of Supervisors.

Field, 71, and Jones, 58, are both community activists and joined the race because they are opposed to Porter and the development plans by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.

The Third District has the second-largest number of registered voters, after the Second District, with 45,006 total. There are 18,558 registered Democrats, 12,309 registered Republicans, and 12,158 registered no-party-preference voters for Tuesday’s election, according to the County Elections Office.

The rest are registered with the American Independence Party, Green, Libertarian or Peace and Freedom parties, or under miscellaneous. 

District Registered Voters Registered Democrats % of Total Voters Registered Republicans % of Total Voters Registered No Party Preference % of Total
County 201,865 86,180 42.7 58,577 29 47,770 23.7
First 43,971 22,150 50.4 9,577 21.8 10,138 23
Third 45,006 18,558 41.2 12,309 27.3 12,158 27
Fourth 38,067 11,956 31.4 16,008 42 8,275 21.7

Noozhawk managing editor 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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