Jonathan Abboud has ended his short bid for the California Assembly District 37 seat, and is now considering a run for Second District Santa Barbara County supervisor.
Abboud announced in mid-November that he would run for the seat, but opted this week to back out because popular Second District County Supervisor Gregg Hart declared his candidacy.
Hart, who has served in elected office for most of the past four decades, is widely regarded as a frontrunner for the seat.
Abboud thanked his supporters “from the bottom of my heart.”
“In a short time this campaign brought together nearly 100 donors to raise $60,000, received several endorsements from community leaders and elected officials, and began a strong grassroots mobilization of volunteers,”
Abboud is the general manager of the Isla Vista Community Services District. He is also a member of the Santa Barbara City College board of trustees.
He quickly threw his support behind Hart.
“Gregg has been a great county supervisor, a true leader throughout the pandemic with extensive experience in local government, tackling some of our community’s toughest issues, including housing and ensuring generations can continue to live in Santa Barbara County, and will be excellent for our district,” Abboud said. “I hope you will join me in supporting him.”
Abboud said many community leaders want him to run for the Second District supervisor’s seat, which has been his home for over 11 years.
The other candidate who has been gathering support is Laura Capps, who would need to move into the district to be eligible to run.
Capps, a member of the Santa Barbara Unified School District board of trustees, ran unsuccessfully for the First District Santa Barbara County supervisor’s seat two years ago.
Abboud said he is “exploring this seat seriously,” but he only wants to do it with broad community support.
“Nearly every day since 2017, I’ve worked with the county Board of Supervisors and navigated county departments to deliver high-quality public services to county residents as a local government executive, since 2012. I did the same as a community leader,” Abboud said. “This knowledge and experience will be invaluable serving in the role of county supervisor.”
The district includes Isla Vista, where Abboud is popular, and Santa Barbara City College.
“We need an energetic, selfless, and responsible leader, one who will put the people and their rights first,” Abboud said. “I have never been afraid to take on and successfully address long-term tough issues at every level of my community leadership.”