Former candidate Dr. David Bearman has officially endorsed Steve Pappas for 3rd District Supervisor in the upcoming November election.
Last spring, when the race was still a five-man contest, Bearman said he was impressed by Pappas’ debate performance. Now, with Pappas facing democrat Doreen Farr in a runoff election and Bearman forced to the sidelines, the Goleta doctor and popular I.V. figure said he would stand behind Pappas.
Bearman said he believes Pappas would use the 3rd District Supervisor’s role as a swing vote on the Board of Supervisors more effectively and would be a stronger supervisor than Farr.
“Should Farr be elected, I don’t think she will have nearly as much power as Steve Pappas,” he said.
Farr, who has the backing of the majority of the county’s democratic officials, said she was surprised with Bearman’s decision, but noted the many endorsements she has received.
“It’s surprising but he is certainly entitled to his opinion,” Farr said. “I think that my endorsements are very strong across the board and across the district… and I am proud of that.”
Pappas said he was flattered to receive an endorsement from his former rival.
“I’m honored to have his endorsement, and I’m very happy that he saw in the primary that people are tired of the traditional political machine, and they want something authentic, honest and balanced,” Pappas said.
In the June election, Farr received the most votes, finishing with 35.71 percent. Pappas narrowly beat conservative David Smyser, coming in with 25 percent of the vote. Since no candidate received a majority of votes, a runoff election is being held in November.
In Isla Vista and UCSB, Farr was the big winner, garnering 62 percent of the precincts’ votes. Bearman came in second in the UCSB and I.V. precincts, and Pappas finished third with just 10 percent of the vote.
Bearman said he believes Pappas is more qualified than Farr and appears knowledgeable on I.V. issues like the Master Plan.
“[The Isla Vista Master Plan was] more on his radar and in private conversations with both he and Farr, he seemed to be more interested and more knowledgeable in it,” Bearman said. “The reason I hesitate is that I’m sure Farr will do it as well. I don’t think Doreen Farr will do a bad job, I just think Pappas will do a much better job.”
Additionally, Bearman said that Pappas, as a “bonafide independent,” would put the good of Isla Vista before the priorities of a particular political party. Bearman said that having a party neutral supervisor could be a great benefit to the I.V. community.
“The Firestone forces are not happy to see him run because he wanted someone to play ball with Republican machine,” Bearman said.
Brooks Firestone, current 3rd District Supervisor, could not be reached for comment. However, in an interview with the Daily Nexus in June, Firestone said he could not endorse Pappas, though he opted not to explain his reasoning.