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Local News

Williams Claims Solid Victory in First District Supervisor Race

Three-term assemblyman defeats county investment officer Jennifer Christensen

Das Williams and his wife, Jonnie, are all smiles Tuesday night after election results showed him winning the First District seat on the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors.
Das Williams and his wife, Jonnie, are all smiles Tuesday night after election results showed him winning the First District seat on the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors. (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk photo)

Das Williams scored a solid victory Tuesday night in the race for the First District seat on the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors.

With all precincts reporting, Williams, a three-term state assemblyman and former Santa Barbara city councilman, had 59.0 percent of the vote, while his opponent, county investment officer Jennifer Christensen, had 40.1 percent.

The First District includes Carpinteria, Summerland, Montecito, a large swath of Santa Barbara, and the remote Cuyama Valley in the northeastern corner of the county.

"We are very pleased," Williams said late Tuesday night. "I think both sides tried to make a referendum on my record. I am honored the people of Santa Barbara County decided my record on the environment and on balancing budgets was a good record."

Christensen acknowledged that her campaign had fallen short of victory, but expressed no regrets

“I’m proud of the campaign we ran, and it’s for the voters to decide what they want,” she said. “It was a tough campaign, and a good learning experience, and considering that no one had ever heard of me, I think we made a pretty good impact.”

Both candidates made experience a central focus of their campaigns.

Williams, a 41-year-old Democrat, billed himself as a "fixer" and problem-solver, and pointed to his tenure in the Assembly and on the City Council as proof he can get things done for his constituents.

Christensen, 43, is an independent who touted her experience and knowledge of county issues and finance as key reasons voters should elect her.

First District Supervisor Results
100% reporting Votes %
Das Williams 10,702 59.6%
Jennifer Christensen 7,391 40.1%

Although the race was technically nonpartisan, as is typically the case, the endorsements broke mostly along traditional Democratic-Republican and conservative-liberal lines.

Moreover the district strongly favors Democrats in terms of voter registration, a factor that presumably worked to Williams' advantage.

Some 48 percent of voters in the First District are Democrats, while about 22 percent are Republicans and roughly 24 percent have registered with no political preference.

Since there are only two candidates in the race, the job will go to the top vote-getter in the primary election instead of requiring a run-off in November. 

The new four-year term will begin in January, one of three seats up for grabs this year on the Board of Supervisors. 

Check back with Noozhawk for updates to this story.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton 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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