With the election for 3rd District supervisor less than a month away, all five of the candidates are intensifying their campaigning inside Isla Vista and the surrounding community.
The student population represents a large voting bloc in the race, and fittingly, campaigns have spent thousands of dollars – not to mention countless man-hours – courting the youth vote in I.V. As the June 3 election looms, candidates Doreen Farr, Steve Pappas, Dr. Dave Bearman, Victoria Pointer and David Smyser are kicking their campaigns into overdrive.
Visibility is essential in any race, and all the candidates have spent considerable time on campus and in I.V.
Like the other candidates, Farr, a former planning commissioner, has spent many of her days tabling in the area and chatting up students.
“I’ve been on campus every week talking with students and hearing their concerns about tenant’s rights issues, the foot patrol, open space, a community center and the master plan,” Farr said. “We also went and did some introductions during announcement times at sororities and fraternities and will continue to do that again for those that we haven’t been able to visit yet.”
Pappas, a Los Olivos businessman, said he also plans to increase the time he spends on campus and in I.V. in the upcoming weeks.
“I’m going to try to be there at least three to four days a week,” Pappas said. “I’m also going to Floatopia. We’re going to set up the Steve Pappas for Supervisor pop-up and we’ll be out there all day. I haven’t decided if I’ll go out in the water yet – depends on how cold it is.”
Pointer said she has tabled in front of Starbucks in I.V. over the last weekend, handing out water and pins, and plans on attending Floatopia this weekend as well.
“I’m reaching out to as many students as I can by walking on campus and having card table hours,” Pointer said. “I will also be walking neighborhoods and getting my name out there the best I can. I’m very accessible to students.”
Additionally, both Bearman and Smyser have spent time around I.V. and participated in a candidate debate in Embarcadero Hall.
It is hard to miss the signs and posters for all the candidates littered throughout I.V. and on campus. Pappas said he has over 300 signs in the community. His campaign has also relied on mailed campaign advertisements.
“We’ve done a series of mailers and will be doing two more,” Pappas said. “They’ll go to all the homes in the third district, including those in Isla Vista.”
While candidate David Smyser could not be reached for comment, the four other contenders expressed an interest in television and radio advertisements.
Farr’s television ads have ran for the past week and Pappas’s ads started airing yesterday.
In terms of print media, Bearman said that the candidate profiles in the local papers are important way to make his issues known to the public in a familiar forum.
“It’s not campaigning per se, but it’s what the campaign is about – having people look at issues,” Bearman said. “We’re doing everything we can to have people take a look at our issues.”
So far, most candidates have stressed the importance of small community contributions to their campaigns. Bearman’s campaign has raised an estimated $50,000, but the candidate said money should not be a determining factor.
“It is obscene that these races get down to looking at money,” Bearman said. “We should look at votes and what the voters want, and I think one has to ask the question who is supporting these candidates with this obscene amount of money?”
Bearman said he attributed his funds to a wide range of support by locals.
“I’ve been in the area for 37 years and my donations come from friends, neighbors, physicians, people in the medicinal marijuana movement, as well as an I.V. landlord,” Bearman said. “I’m endorsed by Democrats, Republicans and Independents, and my support includes both tenants and landlords. The source of this money represents the broad spectrum of my support.”
Farr estimates that her campaign has raised $180,000, and attributes this to a wide range of donors throughout the district.
“I have a very broad donor base that spans the district, the county, the political spectrum and it represents so many different community and environmental groups amongst its members,” Farr said.
Farr also said she was proud to have recently received the endorsement of the Sierra Club, which she feels will be an influential supporter.
According to the Pappas campaign, the candidate has raised approximately $100,000. He also said that despite recent criticism, his contributions come solely from local businesspeople and residents.
“We’ve gained lots of momentum lately,” Pappas said. “All funds have come from local residents [and] not from developers or out of state contributors.”
On the grassroots level, Pointer said she is limited financially and running her campaign accordingly.
“I’m running a grassroots effort campaign,” Pointer said. “I don’t look to be seeking large endorsements, I would rather get small endorsements from individuals, primarily because it’s a very well known fact that with large money comes many strings attached.”
Although Pointer acknowledged the difficulty in campaigning against candidates with more financial backing, she said that she was confident with her own campaign.
“It shouldn’t be about the money, but unfortunately this is the real world and this is the way we operate in capitalistic society,” Pointer said. “I’m running on my integrity and my record, and I invite people to get to know me.”
Meanwhile, Smyser, who was endorsed by current supervisor Brooks Firestone, was leading in terms of donations after the second quarter filing.