ONE WEEK IN, FEW NEW FACES IN LOCAL RACES

While few new candidates secured their place on the Nov. 4 general election ballot this week, Santa Barbara County Elections staff expects more competitors to join races as the Aug. 8 filing deadline approaches.

“Usually the first day or two is busy then it slows down, and as we get closer to the end, people come in to finish up,” said Elections Supervisor Suzanne Jackson.

Approximately 37 people have filed at least some of the necessary paperwork to run in the 81 contests heading to voters in November. More than 30 of these contests are for special district offices, and a few of these city districts saw some new names this week.

Retired Fire Chief Linual White Jr. pulled papers to run for one of three open seats at the Lompoc Valley Medical Center, and retired aerospace engineer Hugh Rafferty filed paperwork for his run at one of two seats at the Santa Maria Public Airport District. William Bumpass also pulled papers for the Vandenberg Village Community Services District. Incumbents had yet to file papers in these races as of Friday.

If incumbents don’t file by Aug. 8, the filing period for individual contests extends to Aug. 13.

A few incumbents did pull papers this week, however. Jonathan Mundt submitted paperwork to get himself back on the ballot and possibly back on the Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District Division No. 1. He’s currently unopposed, and no candidates had filed for the district’s fourth or fifth divisions as of Friday. James Mackenzie was another incumbent who filed papers this week, seeking another term on the Mission Hills Community Services District.

The Los Alamos Community Services District, Santa Maria Valley Water Conservation District, Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District-Improvement District No. 1 as well as other offices farther south also have seats up for election this November.

While county elections staff does not work with candidates running for city offices, they do have information available, and Jackson reminded residents that there is no filing fee to run as a school or special district candidate.

Representative Lois Capps, whose office oversees Santa Barbara County and other regions of the 24th District, will square off with Republican candidate Chris Mitchum on Nov. 4 in the election’s lone federal race along with a number of state contests.

For more information on the upcoming election, offices or the filing period, visit sbcvote.com or call 568-2200.

July 19, 2014   Erin Lennon  elennon@leecentralcoastnews.com

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