Santa Barbara County’s general election ballot is set, with many incumbents campaigning to keep their seats on North County special districts, but the level of competition varies.

While some races didn’t see enough candidates to fill available seats, others, like the Vandenberg Village Community Services District and the Santa Maria Public Airport District, saw more than enough attention, and it’s up to voters to decide who will take the open seats.

Vandenberg Village has two spots coming up for election at its community services district. Incumbents Charles Blair and Anthony Fox are trying to hold onto their positions as Robert Bumpass also tries to take a seat at the table.

And Santa Maria’s Airport District, with its two seats on the ballot, will turn to voters to decide between incumbents Carl Engel Jr. and Chuck Damiano, who are joined on the ballot by Michael Spingler and Hugh Rafferty. 

However, the Cuyama Valley Recreation District’s five seats coming up for grabs are being sought by four candidates, including incumbent Kim Eichert, former short-term director Troy Carpenter, Nicole Rodriguez and Maria Medina, who is running for another stint as a short-term director.

Three candidates filed for spots on the Lompoc Valley Medical Center board, matching the three seats up for election. Incumbents Mary Sharp and Roger McConnell joined the ranks of district hopeful Linual White Jr.

The numbers also aligned at the Mission Hills Community Services District, with Bruce Nix and incumbent James Mackenzie vying for the two available directors’ seats.

In Los Alamos, two incumbents filed to retake their seats at the community services district. Craig Snell and Susan “Susie” Gregg will get another term, but one seat remains unclaimed.

The Santa Maria Valley Water Conservation District has its own unclaimed seats as divisions 3, 4, 5 and 6 come up for election. Incumbents Deborah Askew and Casey Conrad stepped up to take back their 5th and 6th Division seats, respectively, but candidates did not file for the 3rd and 4th Divisions.

Incumbents Barry Marks and Stephen Daugherty make up the field running for four seats on the Santa Ynez Community Services District. Marks and Daugherty are running for short-term seats.

The Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District needs to fill seats in its 1st, 4th and 5th divisions, and incumbents Jonathan Mundt, Art Hibbits and Jeffrey Newton have registered as candidates. Newcomer J. Brett Marymee is vying with Newton for the 5th Division seat, and voters will have to decide.  The Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District, Improvement District No. 1 will fill one at large seat, which is being campaigned for by Lee Rosenberg and R. Brad Joos. Meanwhile, the improvement district is also looking to fill the 2nd and 3rd Division seats, with incumbent Kevin Walsh currently registered.

For more information on the upcoming elections, visit

August 25, 2014  •  Erin Lennon