Come January, Barack Obama will be president of the United States.
Riding on the coattails of Obama’s victory, Democrats swept the local elections. Doreen Farr eked out a win in the 3rd District supervisor race, beating Steve Pappas by less than 1,000 votes. Hannah-Beth Jackson narrowly defeated republican Tony Strickland in the 19th state senate district, and Pedro Nava, the 35th district state assembly incumbent, successfully trounced republican Gregory Gandrud.
In the local congressional race, Lois Capps continued her reign over the 23rd district, crushing challenger Matt Kokkonen .
“Oh my gosh, I can’t even imagine how wonderful it’s going to be a part of a government with Obama in the White House,” Capps said.
Isla Vista residents overwhelmingly denied Measure D, preventing the I.V. Parks and Recreation District from selling local parklands to the county, and thereby stalling an effort to build an underground parking structure in I.V. Countywide, Measure A — a continuation of a half-cent sales tax to fund road maintenance — passed with 78 percent in support.
Although Santa Barbara County voted against the measure, as of press time, California appears to have written a ban on gay marriage into its constitution. With 86 percent of precincts reporting, 52.5 percent of voters said “yes” to Proposition 8, according to the California Secretary of State.
The state also voted to fund a high-speed rail project, and decided not to require parental notification for abortions.
In Goleta last night, newly elected 3rd District Supervisor Doreen Farr learned the results of her runoff campaign at the Hollister Brewing Company. Surrounded by student volunteers, family members and local politicians, Farr — who won with 51.38 percent of the vote — said she saw the night’s results as a major turning point.
“A new day and a new beginning for our country — a new day and a new beginning for the 3rd District,” she said, standing on a table addressing the crowd.
Campus Democrats President Chrissy Elles said she believed Farr would be much more student-friendly than current supervisor Brooks Firestone.
“The thought of having such a genuine and caring 3rd District supervisor is amazing,” Elles said. “Students have struggled for too long without direct representation.”
In the South County, local Democrats hosted an election party for candidates Hannah-Beth Jackson and Lois Capps. Jackson, who was leading with 51.7 percent of the vote at press time, celebrated the wave of Democrats entering office.
“Yes we can and yes we have,” Jackson said to her supporters.
Meanwhile, two UCSB students — Liz Buda and Joshua Catalado — were elected to the I.V. Recreation and Park District along with Bruce Murdock, an environmental engineer.
“I feel wonderful, it’s a four-year term and I am so happy to stay and make a difference in Isla Vista,” Buda said.
On campus, students cast 3,501 ballots — 2,859 for Obama and 642 for McCain. While some students had to face long lines, others were forced to cast provisional ballots due to incorrectly submitted registration forms.
At 11:30 am, lines for voting at Santa Rosa hall extended outside the door and around the corner.