Alejandra Gutierrez
Challenger Alejandra Gutierrez, seen here on election night, has taken a slim lead over incumbent Jason Dominguez in the race for the District 1 seat on the Santa Barbara City Council. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

Challenger Alejandra Gutierrez overtook incumbent Jason Dominguez — by 10 votes — in the race for the District 1 seat on the Santa Barbara City Council, according to the latest tallies released Friday afternoon.

In the District 2 contest, Michael Jordan increased his lead over second-place finisher Brian Campbell.

Gutierrez received 939 votes (47.5%) compared to 929 for Dominguez (46.9%)

Dominguez led Gutierrez by 32 votes on election night.

Cruzito Herrera Cruz was a distant third in the District 1 race with 97 votes (4.9%).

Gutierrez spoke with Noozhawk on Friday, immediately after the latest results were released.

“This is an exciting time, but also incredibly stressful,” Gutierrez said. “I am so thankful to everyone who has volunteered on this campaign, many of whom did so for the first time. This campaign is about giving the Eastside a voice and we continue to do that. I look forward to the final results and am so excited for the bright future this great city has.”

About 130 provisional ballots still need to be counted, but those results won’t be known until Thursday next week.

Dominguez told Noozhawk he too awaits the final count.

“Votes are still being counted and this is an incredibly close race,” Dominguez told Noozhawk. “I am deeply appreciative of all the support I have received and I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished over the last four years.

“I am proud to have helped secure more funding to address homelessness, championed policies to combat climate change, and revitalized our local parks and city services. I look forward to continuing to serve our region in whatever ways I can.”

The Los Angeles County Elections Office, which tabulated the mail-in ballots from the Nov. 5 election, is closed Monday because of the Veterans Day holiday. 

In District 2, Jordan now has 1,495 votes (36.9%), well ahead of Campbell, who has 1,118 votes (27.6%).

“I am humbled and excited that the voters and people across the community have chosen to place their trust in me,” Jordan told Noozhawk about the latest results. “I’m looking forward to joining with them to continue to make Santa Barbara the best it can be for everyone.”

Teri Jory received 753 votes (18.6%), while Tavis Boise won 369 votes (9.1%). Luis Esparza racked up 301 votes (7.4%).

District 1 saw the primary battle between the Dominguez and Gutierrez, who grew up in the community and worked as the executive director of the Franklin Service Center.

Although they are both Democrats, Gutierrez earned the endorsement of the Santa Barbara County Democratic Party, and had legions of volunteers working on her behalf.

Dominguez, who also announced that he is running for a seat in the California Assembly, is an attorney who frequently spars with Mayor Cathy Murillo on political issues.

District 1 is somewhat of a microcosm of Santa Barbara. Milpas Street, much like State Street downtown, struggles with homelessness, crime and public-safety issues.

Several controversial high-density housing projects are also in the works on the Eastside, over the opposition of neighborhood residents.

Even the Eastside’s parks have received unwelcome attention, from a hypodermic needle found discarded at Vera Cruz Park to a recent middle-of-the-night stabbing at Ortega Park, which has been the scene of ongoing loitering, drinking and drug use

In District 2, five candidates were looking to replace Randy Rowse, who has served on the City Council since 2009 and is leaving due to term limits. 

Jordan, a centrist Democrat, won the endorsement of the local Democratic Party, a historically influential group during at-large elections. He is an insurance agent who also serves on the city’s Planning Commission. 

Jory promoted herself as a 4th-degree black belt, small business owner, community advocate, professional dancer, choreographer, figure skater and award-winning news anchor.

Campbell, a Realtor at Village Properties, is the sole Republican in the contest. He focused largely on homelessness problems, and increasing public safety on the Mesa. 

Esparza ran before in 2017, while Boise was a first-time candidate who was balancing attending law school with running for office. He frequently talked about the importance of addressing climate change if he were elected to the City Council. 

Vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian safety on Cliff Drive, housing, the impact of Santa Barbara City College on neighborhoods, homelessness, park safety, and sea level rise are among the major issues currently facing the Mesa.

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at jmolina@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Joshua Molina

Joshua Molina, Noozhawk Staff Writer

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at jmolina@noozhawk.com.