The chair of the Santa Barbara County Republican Party said the organization is targeting independent and “no party preference” voters, and that the Third District Santa Barbara County supervisor’s seat is within reach.

Bobbi McGinnis, chair of the party, said she is optimistic about the 2024 election, and that a shift in political power is possible eventually.

“We are building our bench,” said McGinnis, in the latest episode of the podcast Santa Barbara Talks with Josh Molina. “It’s a slow process.”

In this podcast interview, McGinnis outlined the GOP’s view on the 2024 election, and offered a glimpse into the party’s strategy. She said that the party is phone banking, knocking on doors, texting, emailing and polling voters, while also seeking candidates.

McGinnis said it’s a difficult task to convince candidates to run, and to get voters to support GOP candidates.

“The Democratic Party has become so powerful that when someone dares to challenge the machine, they lose their job or their livelihood,” McGinnis said. “Let’s face it, there’s a lot of South County conservatives who won’t put an ‘R’ next to their name because they are afraid it is going to hurt their business, their livelihood, it’s going to hurt their family.”

YouTube video

McGinnis said the party is trying to reach voters on the topics of public safety, education and housing affordability.

“We want to help people become homeowners,” McGinnis said. “That’s a tough thing to do in this particular environment, but if you have the right policies in place, rather than make people lifetime tenants, which is really what the Democratic Party is pushing for.”

Redistricting after the 2020 U.S. Census has given the party hope that it might be able to swing the Third District.

People who live in Isla Vista are now in the Second District. Without those residents voting in the Third District, McGinnis said, the contest should be more competitive. Incumbent Joan Hartmann currently holds the seat.

“Joan Hartmann walked in with 10,000 votes automatically coming out of UCSB that she barely had to earn,” McGinnis said. “It’s going to be a very interesting race.”

Watch the full interview by clicking on the YouTube link. McGinnis also talks about GOP candidates for Assembly and Congress and school boards.

Joshua Molina is journalist who currently writes for Noozhawk and teaches journalism at Santa Barbara City College. Santa Barbara Talks is an independently owned podcast where Molina looks to bring together voices from all perspectives to discuss and provide solutions to the challenges related to housing, education, transportation and other community issues. Subscribe his newsletter here. Subscribe to his podcast here and consider a contribution here.