Though outstanding ballots remain, it appears the race for the 37th District State Assembly will be narrowed down to two, as Republican Charles Cole and Democrat Steve Bennett are in line for a runoff in the November election.
Combining preliminary results in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, Mr. Cole received 28,193 votes compared to 20,919 for Mr. Bennett. Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo received 15,673 votes between the two counties, finishing in third place.
If results hold, Mr. Cole and Mr. Bennett will square off to fill the seat for termed-out Assemblywoman Monique Limon, who has qualified for a general election runoff with Republican Gary Michaels in the race for State Senate District 19.
Ms. Murillo fared well in Santa Barbara, earning 10,491 votes (32.03%). She earned 5,182 votes (12.27%) in Ventura County, according to the preliminary election results.
Former Santa Barbara City Councilman Jason Dominguez earned 6,070 votes between the two counties, good for fourth, while Santa Barbara City College Trustee Jonathan Abboud earned a total of 6,032 to finish fifth.
The votes in the Assembly race, as well as other local races, are expected to be finalized Monday, according to officials.
As of Wednesday afternoon, some 38,400 vote-by-mail ballots in Santa Barbara County have not been counted. Roughly 800 ballots remain uncounted from the polls, as well as 1,000 provisional ballots that have not yet been tallied, according to Joe Holland, Santa Barbara County clerk-recorder-assessor.
Carbajal holds lead over Caldwell
Incumbent Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, has maintained a healthy lead in the race for the 24th District seat in U.S. Congress, while political newcomer Andy Caldwell appears to have qualified for a runoff in November’s General Election.
Mr. Carbajal had received 40,375 votes (54.73%) and Mr. Caldwell had received 30,231 votes (40.98%) in Santa Barbara County as of Wednesday afternoon, according to the county elections office.
Combining San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties, which make up the 24th District, Mr. Carbajal received approximately 76,467 votes compared to 64,661 for Mr. Caldwell.
Mr. Carbajal issued a statement on the results, thanking his supporters and asking for continued engagement through the fall.
“This election is pivotal for our Central Coast, state and nation, and I’m grateful to all in our community who made their voices heard at the ballot box, through vote-by-mail and through California’s early voting,” Mr. Carbajal said in a statement. “It is an honor to serve our 24th Congressional District and stand up for our values in Congress each day. Based on the results we’re seeing, I’m proud that it seems Central Coast residents want me to continue fighting for those values in Congress. I thank everyone for voting and urge our community to keep this momentum up come November.”
In a statement posted to his campaign’s Facebook site, Mr. Caldwell thanked all the volunteers, donors and supporters of his campaign.
“No matter the outcome when all the votes are counted, I will continue working to create more housing our children can afford, more opportunity and higher wages for our residents – and more honesty and common-sense in government,” Mr. Caldwell said.
The race is the first challenge for Mr. Carbajal’s seat since he was elected in 2016 to replace Lois Capps.
Williams holds lead in Supervisor race
Incumbent Das Williams is holding a lead of more than 700 votes as he seeks to retain his seat as 1st District Supervisors against challenger Laura Capps.
Mr. Williams has received 7,920 votes (51.63%), while Ms. Capps has received 7,185 votes (46.84%). All 45 precincts had reported as of Wednesday, according to the county elections office.
“Our lead is widening. Thank you so much for all your encouragement, prayers, love, and walking of neighborhoods,” Mr. Williams wrote on his Facebook page Wednesday morning.
In a statement issued to her supporters on Wednesday, Ms. Capps said her campaign was working with county officials to determine how many ballots remain tallied.
“Regardless of the outcome, I am very proud of what we have accomplished in this campaign,” Ms. Capps wrote.
“The conversations that happened during this campaign — from poverty to climate change to campaign ethics — will only make our county a better place to live and work, and I thank Das and his supporters for this spirited race and the important exchange of ideas.”
Some 8,000 ballots have yet to be counted, officials said.
Hartmann maintains healthy lead in 3rd District
Incumbent Joan Hartmann has extended her lead to retain her spot as the 3rd District representative for the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors.
Ms. Hartmann received a total of 8,253 votes (52.26%), with challenger Bruce Porter having received 5,640 votes (35.71%). Karen Jones received 1,037 votes (6.57%) and Jessica Alvarez Parfrey received 793 (5.02%).
If Ms. Hartmann receives more than 50% of the vote there will be no runoff in November.
Ms. Hartmann issued a statement on Facebook Wednesday, stating that “the people of the Third District resoundingly said character matters. Integrity matters. Experience Matters.
“Together we fought back – with a campaign throughout the district based on integrity and my record of service. While all the ballots have not yet been tallied, I am confident my lead will hold,” Ms. Hartmann wrote. “I look forward to continuing my services as Third District Supervisor.”
Roughly 6,000 vote-by-mail ballots remain uncounted in the 3rd District race.
Nelson slated to win 4th District Seat
Bob Nelson will be the next Santa Barbara County Supervisor for the 4th District, winning an unopposed race.
Mr. Nelson received 10,984 votes (96.44%) of the 11,389 total votes tallied, according to the county elections office.
Voters oppose Proposition 13
Local voters opposed Proposition 13, known as the School and College Facilities Bond, and decided not to authorize $15 billion in general obligation bonds for school and college facilities.
Some 40,000 votes (55.97%) were cast against the measure and 31,461 (44.03%) were cast in support.
Measure J expected to pass
The Hope Elementary School District bond measure authorizing the district to issue $47.4 million in bonds at an estimated tax rate of $0.03 per $100 in assessed value was narrowly approved by the voters.
The bond measure required a 55% super-majority vote for approval. Measure J received 2,093 votes (57.34%), with 1,557 votes against (42.66%).
Measure I expected to pass
Residents of the city of Lompoc voted in support of a 1% sales tax increase for the city for the next 15 years.
Some 3,530 votes had been casted in favor of the tax increase (68.13%) with 1,651 (31.87%) voting against the tax. All precincts had been reported as of Wednesday afternoon.
All election results are expected to be certified on Monday, according to the county elections office.