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With $5,000 from Mayor Cathy Murillo, Gutierrez Leads Money Race for Santa Barbara City Council

Oscar Gutierrez leads the money race in the District 3 Santa Barbara City Council contest.

The Santa Barbara County Democratic Party-backed candidate has raised $14,700, including $5,000 from Mayor Cathy Murillo, $2,000 from Councilman Gregg Hart, and a $1,500 check from NFL player Alex Mack.

Of Mack, a center for the Atlanta Falcons, Gutierrez said, “We’re best friends.”

In addition to the contributions from Murillo, Hart and Mack, Gutierrez has collected $1,000 from the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee, $1,000 from the Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union 114 and $1,000 from Southern California Pipe Trades District Council 16.

Gutierrez, a videographer and community access television producer, also took in $1,000 from Richard Mazes, $600 from Rosa Baez, and $250 from Matthew Schneider.

Candidate Michael Vidal has raised about $6,500, including $1,000 each from Jim and Sharon Westby, who both supported former mayoral candidate Angel Martinez, and who in the past have supported conservative candidates such as Dale Francisco.

Vidal, a financial planner, also took in $500 from Theo Kracke, the owner of Paradise Retreats, who has battled the city of Santa Barbara over its short-term vacation rental policy. He also collected $1,000 from an individual named Jose Lopez.

Candidate Ken Rivas reported that he raised $50. The final candidate, Santa Barbara City College student Elizabeth Hunter, did not report raising any money.

The candidates are vying for the open District 3 seat vacated by Murillo, who was elected mayor in November.

The contest has shaped up to be a battle between Gutierrez, a Democratic-Party candidate and lifelong Westside resident, and Vidal, who has conservative support, and was registered to vote in Fresno from 2008 to 2015. He co-owns a home with his mother in Fresno.

Rivas is also a lifelong Santa Barbara resident, and is hoping his community connections and years of volunteer activism on behalf of Democrats will push him to the top.

The biggest enigma in the race is Santa Barbara City College student Elizabeth Hunter, an environmentalist who wants to bring a fresh set of eyes to City Hall. 

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina 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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