With an 84% voter turnout as of Nov. 12, over 197,000 Santa Barbara County voters casted their ballots in this year’s national election.
The Nexus compiled information about several winners from this year’s election. Read about their campaign promises and what they plan to do during their times in their respective offices below:
24th Congressional District Representative Salud Carbajal
With 62.59% of the vote, UC Santa Barbara Alumnus Salud Carbajal (D) won California’s 24th Congressional District for a third consecutive term, beating out his opponent, Andy Caldwell (R). His campaign centered around central coast values, middle class support, environmental preservation efforts and reproductive justice.
In a statement to the Nexus, Carbajal said he plans to use his third term “to deliver another COVID-19 relief package, expand access to affordable and high quality health care, protect our environment, create economic opportunities and so much more.”
19th District State Senator Monique Limón
Monique Limón (D) won California’s 19th District State Senate seat by 64.82%. The current assemblymember campaigned on environmentalism, healthcare access, feminism, consumer protections and natural disaster prevention, recovery and response, beating out her opponent Gary Michaels (R).
Currently, Limón serves as the 37th State Assembly District’s representative, and will transition to her State Senate seat in January 2021.
In a statement to the Nexus, Limón said that she plans to use her term in office to “protect our environment, advance access to health care, champion education opportunities, prepare for natural disasters and work with local communities to respond to COVID and safely reopening our economy.”
37th District State Assemblymember Steve Bennett
Steve Bennett (D) will serve as the next State Assemblymember for District 37, which encompasses Santa Barbara County and Ventura County. Bennett defeated Charles Cole (R), with 68.2% of the vote.
Bennett is currently finishing his fifth term on the Ventura County Board of Supervisors, and before that worked as a high school teacher and served on the Ventura City Council. Bennett said two areas he plans to focus on during his term are finding effective renewable energy storage and addressing the “negative impacts of growing income inequality” in his district.
“People trapped at the bottom need affordable housing, access to good healthcare and quality training and education for themselves and their children,” Bennett said in a statement to the Nexus.
I.V. CSD Two-year Term Catherine Flaherty
Catherine Flaherty won against her opponent Daniel Mitchell, gaining 79.76% of the vote in Isla Vista and a two-year term on the Isla Vista Community Services District board of directors. The third-year UCSB student centered her campaign platform on creating an I.V. planning commission to address parking and lighting needs and increasing awareness and education on the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 safety in I.V. will be her number one priority once she takes office, she said.
“So many residents in our community do take the precautions seriously, but I think the board can still do more in helping stop the spread,” Flaherty said in a message on election night.
Flaherty is also the newly appointed internal vice president of the Associated Students at UCSB. She studies history of public policy and political science and is a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority
Flaherty is replacing outgoing director Kristie Nguyen, a fourth-year sociology and Asian American studies double major, who’s scheduled to graduate from UCSB at the end of Fall Quarter 2020.
I.V. CSD Four-year Term Ethan Bertrand
Ethan Bertrand ran unopposed for a four-year term on the Isla Vista Community Services District board of directors. He led the board as its president in its first couple years of existence before later stepping down to serve as a director.
“Over the past few years, we have brought the Isla Vista Community Services District to life. I’m committed to expanding the reach of our District to better improve the quality of life for all Isla Vista residents,” he said in a message to the Nexus.
In his first term on the board, Bertrand helped launch the Community Service Officer Safety Stations in I.V. and the I.V. Beautiful program, which provides jobs to people experiencing houselessness. He also led the I.V. CSD’s Measure R campaign which gave the board its first source of permanent funding.
Now, he is looking to lead I.V. out of the COVID-19 pandemic and to advance equitable public safety, houselessness support and sustainability.
“I will continue to focus on standing up for underrepresented communities, especially our communities of color and our LGBTQ community,” he said.
I.V. CSD Four-year Term Marcos Aguilar
An Isla Vista resident for over 10 years, Marcos Aguilar ran unopposed for a four-year term on the Isla Vista Community Services District board of directors. Since he was not focused on campaigning for an election, Aguilar said he spent the bulk of his time going door-to-door registering voters along with Bertrand.
Two major issues Aguilar said he plans to address as director are the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent influx of houselessness in I.V., which he says is partially due to COVID-19.
“I really want to ensure that local residents feel safe in our community, and this goes especially for Black and brown persons, women and our LGBTQ community here,” Aguilar said. “This year has shown that there’s a lot of division in our country. This community is unique in the sense that it’s always growing and evolving, and it can grow and evolve to be a very loving and equitable community.”
Aguilar is replacing outgoing director Father Jon-Stephen Hedges.
IVRPD Short Term Mia Rahman
Mia Rahman, a second-year undeclared UC Santa Barbara student, won the short-term Isla Vista Parks and Recreation board seat with 56.89% of the vote. Rahman said she is dedicated to providing inclusive, equitable parks programming and protecting I.V.’s houseless community while also creating clean, sustainable parks.
Rahman, who has served as a temporary board member since August, said in a statement to the Nexus that she hopes to create coronavirus-safe programming that the community can enjoy, including “socially distant organized activities including yoga, dance, live music, frisbee golf tournaments, group walks, etc., so that people may feel less isolated, while still staying keeping our community safe and healthy.”
A version of this article appeared on p. 3 of the Nov. 12 print edition of the Daily Nexus.