With November’s election a few months past, some local politicians are already looking to 2010 and the next statewide election.
Pedro Nava is currently serving his third and final term in the state assembly, and two familiar names have stepped up as potential contenders for the 35th District Assembly seat. The first to announce their candidacy was Nava’s wife and ardent environmentalist Susan Jordan. Current Santa Barbara City council member Das Williams, who had previously endorsed the idea of Jordan’s candidacy, has recently suggested he, too, will seek the Democratic nomination for the seat.
Jordan, who announced her intentions to run in January, is currently the executive director the California Coastal Protection Network, a local nonprofit group, and is the co-founder of Vote the Coast, a grass-roots environmental activism organization.
Williams publicly endorsed Jordan even before she announced her candidacy in January. However, Williams will be termed out of the city council in 2012, and now he says that he is considering switching sides and running against Jordan for the assembly position in June 2010.
“I am thinking about it,” Williams said. “There’s a lot I would still like to give to the community in areas such as environment, education, jobs and health care.”
Previously, Williams had a history of political friendship with Jordan, having worked with her on multiple campaigns.
“I respect Susan [Jordan] a whole lot,” he said. “She does a really good job.”
Meanwhile, Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal – who many speculated would run for the seat himself – recently announced that he plans on endorsing Williams’ campaign.
“I think that Das Williams is a very well rounded candidate,” Carbajal, who represents the 1st District of the county, said. “When you look at Das’ services and accomplishments on city council, he has a broad range that gives glimpses of effectiveness and values.”
Williams sits on the Dean’s Council at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at UCSB, and says that he is well suited to represent the Isla Vista and UCSB community because he understands the communities in ways that most people cannot.
“Growing up in I.V. and going to graduate school at UCSB, I’m a lot closer to the UCSB community,” he said.
The 35th Assembly District extends from the Santa Ynez Valley through the South Coast and through parts of Ventura County. The district has a long history of voting Democratic, meaning whoever gets the party’s nomination is traditionally the easy frontrunner in the general election contest.