As of 12 a.m. this morning, preliminary returns from yesterday’s special election showed that all the statewide propositions failed by very narrow margins and Santa Barbara City’s incumbent Mayor, Marty Blum, won by a margin much higher than even she expected.

One hundred percent of the 220 precincts in Santa Barbara County reported election results as of approximately 10:15 p.m. yesterday. According to the Santa Barbara County website,, Blum won the mayoral race and incumbent Santa Barbara City Council members Roger Horton and Iya Falcone, as well as first-time city council candidate Grant House, won seats on the Santa Barbara City Council. According to the California Secretary of State’s website,, as of 12:04 a.m., with 77 percent of California’s precincts reporting, all of the propositions on the ballot failed to pass.

Santa Barbara County Clerk Joe Holland said although the county has received all of the absentee ballots, the final results of those ballots will likely not be compiled for at least one week. Holland said he believes the turnout for the special election will be relatively high.

“I think after all the absentee ballots are counted and all the poll ballots are counted, we’ll probably have over 50 percent turnout, which I think is pretty good for an election like this,” Holland said.

UCSB College Republicans President Sally Marois, a third-year political science major, said she is surprised that Propositions 73 and 75, which College Republicans endorsed, failed.

“It’s kind of a shock,” Marois said. “I actually thought 73 and 75 were going to go. One of our other members was at the governor’s party in L.A. tonight.”

UCSB Campus Democrats President Ben Sheldon-Tarzynski said although his organization endorsed Proposition 79 – which would institute statewide prescription drug rebates – and Proposition 80 to pass, he is still happy about the election results.

“In my personal opinion, and I think probably the prevailing opinion for Democrats, it was more important that all the propositions we were against failed than the two we were for passed,” Sheldon-Tarzynski said. “The propositions we were against had to be defeated – that was an imperative. If we had failed on those, it would have affected every other race from here on.”

Sheldon-Tarzynski, a third-year history and classics major, said he is pleased with the results of the local elections, but Marois said she thinks voters made the wrong choice in the mayoral race.

“As far as the city mayoral election, it’s unfortunate for Republicans,” Marois said. “I do think that the city will definitely pay for this economically within the next four years.”

According to, Blum received 59.21 percent of 18,123 total votes, and her closest competitor, Alan Ebenstein, won 33.97 percent of the vote. Horton received the highest number of votes in the city council race, with 20.18 percent in favor and 5,536 total votes against as of Tuesday night.

Blum said she is surprised by the number of votes she received.

“I’m very excited,” Blum said. “My first re-elections were kind of squeakers, so this one is a real voice of the people, because they voted and gave me a huge victory, so I’m thrilled.”

Blum celebrated her victory with a party at Nu Restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara. She said she now plans to spearhead an effort to develop a long-term plan for Santa Barbara.

Ebenstein, who currently teaches a course on the history of economic thought at UCSB, said he thinks the election fostered debate on important local issues such as transportation and the economy.

“I think [it] was a good campaign and a number of issues were raised on both sides, and I think that’s good for the community,” Ebenstein said. “So, I’m glad that I ran and the issues were discussed, and I wish Marty Blum good luck on her second term.”

The fourth-place mayoral candidate, “Thinker” Bill Hackett, said he is not surprised at the election results, especially since he did not spend any money on publicity during his campaign.

“I got 1.21 percent, and that means I got a little constituency out there,” Hackett said. “I broke 1 percent. I put myself on the ballot as “Thinker Bill Hackett” and I probably got the majority of the thinkers in Santa Barbara.

Blum said she is excited to work with the winners of the city council race, including Grant House – the only victor who did not run as an incumbent.

“We’ve got a great council,” Blum said. “I think we’re going to find a really good city council for the next four years.”