With no candidate for 3rd District supervisor able to amass 50 percent of the vote, top finishers Doreen Farr and Steve Pappas will face each other in a runoff election this November.
Farr came in on top of the field of five candidates, receiving 35.71 percent of the vote. Pappas, a Los Olivos businessman who finished a distant third place in the 2004 election, edged out former 3rd District Planning Commissioner David Smyser by a mere 498 votes to grab second. In total, Pappas received 25.02 percent of the vote, and Smyser finished with 21.08.
Dr. Dave Bearman and Victoria Pointer received 9.91 and 8.02 percent of the vote, respectively.
Since no candidate gained a majority, the election will trudge on for another five months until Farr and Pappas compete in a Nov. 4 runoff.
Voter turnout for the Tuesday’s election was markedly lower than in previous elections, with just 16 percent of registered campus residents and 14 percent of registered Isla Vista residents showing up at the polls. Districtwide, 12,400 people voted Tuesday, compared to the 23,045 citizens who cast their ballots four years ago. Countywide, 33.11 percent of registered voters went to the polls Tuesday.
The few Isla Vistans and UCSB students that made it to the polls on Tuesday came out in force for Farr, according to precinct data. The former 2nd District planning commissioner received 61.4 percent of UCSB’s 884 voters. In I.V., 62 percent of voters filled in the bubble for Farr as well. Bearman came in second place in I.V. and on campus, obtaining about 22.5 percent of the vote, and Pappas landed in third place locally, receiving a little more than 10 percent of the I.V. and UCSB vote.
Following Tuesday’s election, Farr and her supporters gathered at the Hollister Brewing Co. in the Camino Real Shopping Center to await the final tally and celebrate the results. Surrounded by South County political leaders, Farr said she was proud of the campaign thus far and would soon begin preparing for the November election.
“This is the first step in a two-step process,” Farr said. “We’ll ramp up again for the fall. It’s looking good. I’m so pleased with the positive campaign we ran and the positive message we’ve given to the district.”
Farr also thanked her supporters, and said she was especially grateful for the support of students.
“I have an amazing group of student interns and volunteers who started at 5:30 this morning, and a campaign staff beyond excellent who coordinated everything,” Farr said.
Pappas, meanwhile, watched the election results come in from the Montanero Farm in Los Olivos – a rural facility he fought to protect from development six years ago. Attendees included neighbors, friends, I.V. campaign volunteers and celebrities Bo Derek and John Corbett, who played Aidan on the TV show “Sex in the City.”
Pappas said he felt a second-place victory was encouraging, and was optimistic about his chances in November.
“I think we’ve won… second,” Pappas said. “Which really means we’ve won.”
Pappas also took time to thank the I.V. and UCSB voters who supported his campaign.
“I am hoping to show young people that they can make a difference, and I’m proud that they get to see an individual, an independent candidate, challenging the system and succeeding,” he said.
Back at Farr’s election celebration, 1st District Supervisor Salud Carbajal said he was confident Farr would have a positive impact on the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors.
“I can’t tell you how critical it is to get Doreen on the Board of Supervisors,” Carbajal said. “It will mean someone with great integrity, thought and intelligence with a good land use policy, who will fight for the most vulnerable in our community and a darn good redistricting plan.”
The Campus Democrats have also endorsed Farr, and members were present at Hollister Brewing Co. to hear the election results. President Chrissy Elles, a third-year environmental studies and political science major, said she felt Farr’s success was indicative of Isla Vista’s support for Farr.
“I am so excited,” Elles said. “Obviously the I.V. residents feel that Doreen Farr is the best candidate for the job.”
In the upcoming campaign, Farr and Pappas will vie to win over the supporters of the three candidates no longer in the running. Current 3rd District Supervisor Brooks Firestone, who previously endorsed Smyser, has not yet committed his support for either candidate and said there are still issues to consider in making his decision.
“I have lots of thoughts,” Firestone said. “UCSB and I.V. mean a great deal to me. There’s a great many projects that weren’t discussed during the campaign, and I want to hear what the candidates have to say about them.”
Proposition 98, a proposed amendment to the California Constitution that would limit the government’s authority on issues of eminent domain while also abolishing rent control, failed to garner the necessary votes to pass. With all precincts reporting, the proposition was voted down with 61.66 percent of the voters casting a “no” vote. However, Proposition 99 – which limits the government’s authority to use eminent domain to take a home and transfer it to a private developer – did pass, getting a “yes” vote from 70.37 percent of the state.
Measure V, which advocated for over $77 million worth of bonds to be allocated to Santa Barbara City College for the repair and improvement of academic facilities, passed with 69.92 percent of the vote and 100 percent of precincts reporting.