Santa Barbara Votes: 2022 Primary Election Results

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Despite efforts by elections workers throughout the state to make voting as easy as humanly possible, Santa Barbara voters — like voters throughout California — embraced their franchise with a great big yawn this Tuesday, posting the lowest turnout in many moons. As of Wednesday morning, voter turnout weighed in at a less-than-whopping 20.95 percent, only slightly above the 19.06 percent reported Tuesday night and the 16 percent Monday afternoon for this pretty-much all mail-in ballot.

Elections czar Joe Holland is now estimating that there remain roughly 26,000 ballots left to count. That does not include any ballots that arrive in the mail over the next three days postmarked June 7.  Based on this, Holland is guesstimating at this point that voter turnout for this election will be 32 percent. That’s still lower than any that Holland recollects. In 2014, for example, the turn out was 38 percent. But complicating matters somewhat, Holland said, is that even though this year’s turnout is lower int terms of percentages than 2014, more people actually voted this year than then.

Mid-term primaries are notoriously desultory affairs, Holland noted. As of Tuesday morning when only 16 percent of the ballots had been submitted, 53 percent of the voters were registered Democrats, with registered Republicans outnumbering Declined-to-States by a couple thousand; 57 percent were over 65 years of age with voters between the ages of 18 and 49 making up only 20 percent combined. And 80 percent were white. 

Prognosticators will be examining the entrails of pigeons for explanations, no doubt, for many moons to come, but election fatigue, exhaustion, despair, and an abiding sense of “post”-COVID rage and futility have been widely cited by the experts. The media, likewise, has been blamed for doing a desultory job in its pre-election coverage. That there is a striking lack of compelling races in which the outcome appeared in doubt has clearly been a factor as well.  

That being said, real candidates did run for real offices and ran real campaigns with real-life consequences.

Laura Capps outside Chase Restaurant and Lounge on election night | Credit: Ingrid Bostrom

Susan Salcido, Santa Barbara County’s incumbent Superintendent of Education, appears well ahead over challenger Christy Lozano, an 18-year physical education instructor in the Santa Barbara Unified School District and a conservative culture wars crusader. In the initial returns — in which 21 percent of the registered voters cast ballots — Salcido won 64 percent of the ballots — and Lozano took the remaining 35.7 percent. Given the large number of ballots that remain uncounted, these numbers will no doubt change. 

Salcido celebrated on election night at the Chase, a popular downtown restaurant and watering hole. Joining her were a host of Democratic Party luminaries like County Supervisor Gregg Hart, school boardmember Laura Capps and Santa Barbara City Councilmember Oscar Gutierrez. Salcido stated, “This election has been a spotlight on public education and a great opportunity to show what we do, what impacts we have, and how we are different from other school districts.” 

This year’s election marked the first time in no less than 40 years that the county superintendent’s seat has been contested, forcing Salcido, a former school principal and administrative über-wonk with 26 years in the educational trenches, to actually explain what she and her office — with 500 employees and a budget of $105 million — do and does.

Lozano sought to reach out to conservative voters fed up with the progressive agenda of “equity, inclusion, and diversity,” appearing on Fox News and stressing the need for schools to focus more instead on the basics math and reading.

To the extent any local race generated much political electricity, this one was it. The local Democratic Party — appalled that so unapologetically conservative a candidate would threaten what hitherto had been one of the more obscure political offices in the county — rallied behind Salcido to beat back the self-described boat-rocker Lozano.

In the other most locally significant race — between incumbent Sheriff Bill Brown and his challenger, Sheriff’s Lieutenant Juan Camarena — Brown, with 16 years behind the sheriff’s badge, was leading with nearly 57 percent to Camarena’s 43 percent.

At an election night party at the Courthouse Tavern, Brown expressed confidence that victory would be his. “I’m very confident there’s more than two-thirds of the vote.” He thanked his supporters and said he hopes to pursue Project Opioid — an initiative to enlist the medical, educational, philanthropic, and business communities in a campaign against opioid use. “I want to knock the death rate down and make some differences,” Brown stated.

Inside the party for Bill Brown at Courthouse Tavern on election night | Credit: Ingrid Bostrom

The most striking thing about other local races was the extent to which some didn’t exist. Assistant District Attorney John Savrnoch ran to fill the shoes of his boss, DA Joyce Dudley, unopposed, Dudley having announced she would not be seeking reelection only a few days before the filing deadline expired. Likewise, County Supervisor Steve Lavagnino from Santa Maria ran unopposed for the 5th District seat, and Laura Capps ran unopposed for the 2nd District supervisorial seat, which includes Santa Barbara, Isla Vista, and points in between. Those are three major elected positions to be filled without contest.

Elrawd MacLearn, another conservative cultural warrior, challenged incumbent elections czar Joe Holland, who crushed in his bid for a sixth term. As of Wednesday morning, Holland had won 81 percent of the votes cast; Maclearn had 18.8 percent. Holland, recovering from surgery to both knees, didn’t run much of a campaign either. In fact, he ran no campaign at all. “I didn’t spend a red cent or one thin dime,” Holland stated. When asked why not, he replied, “What for?”

With the outcome of governors’ race all but in the bag many months ago, there was little chance Governor Gavin Newsom, a formidable Democrat, would experience any political turbulence from any of the 25 candidates on the ballot against him. Newsom won nearly 63 percent of the county’s ballots.

California Senator Alex Padilla found himself running twice — once to finish the term he inherited from his predecessor and once for the full term that stats after that. In the second, he faced 22 challengers, and in the first, he faced seven. Of local interest in that effort, Padilla, a Democratic Party powerhouse, was opposed by Santa Barbara software gazillionaire Dan O’Dowd, who spent millions of his own money to highlight the dangers he claims are inherent in the software platform relied upon by Tesla’s Elon Musk in his manufacture of self-driving vehicles. O’Dowd came sixth in Santa Barbara in the race for the full term, winning 1.6 percent of the votes cast in the county.

Gregg Hart outside Chase Restaurant and Lounge on election night | Credit: Ingrid Bostrom

Closer to home, Salud Carbajal, former county supervisor now running for his fourth congressional term, cleaned the floor against three rivals — one Republican, one declined-to-say, and one Democrat. But even so, Carbajal will still have to run again this fall to clinch the seat, this time against Brad Allen — the only registered Republican in the race — a Summerland resident and former heart surgeon who happens to be married to actress Jaclyn Smith, who famously played one of the three Charlie’s Angels. In Santa Barbara County, Carbajal won 62 percent of the ballots, and Allen took 28.6 percent.  The district also includes swaths of Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties. But district-wide, Carbajal is well ahead with nearly 65 percent of the vote.

The outcome was somewhat closer in the battle for the new State Assembly district created by redistricting. County Supervisor Gregg Hart — and Democratic Party stalwart — won convincingly, but not enough to avoid a November run-off against republican Mike Stoker, himself a former county supervisor and longtime Republican candidate.

Most recently Stoker served as West Coast regional director of the EPA during the Trump administration but was terminated after running afoul of his own party’s apparatchiks within the EPA. Stoker claimed his real crime was bipartisanship and working too well with Nancy Pelosi, much reviled by Republicans pretty much everywhere. Hart took 59.22 percent of the vote district-wide, and Stoker took 37.2 percent, but the presence of Bruce Wallach, a left-leaning Democrat — who garnered a scant 3.5 percent — pushed this one into overtime.


Bellwether Races in Los Angeles and San Francisco

Rick Caruso, owner and developer of Santa Barbara’s high-end and much-fought-over Miramar Hotel, ended Tuesday night with a 42 percent edge over Democratic congressmember and mayoral standard bearer Karen Bass, who had 38 percent. They will face off again in the November election. Caruso, a billionaire, spent more than $40 million of his own money attacking City Hall for its handling of crime, homelessness, and drugs. He has pledged to expand Los Angeles police force.   

Rick Caruso | Credit: Paul Wellman (file)

In San Francisco, über-criminal-justice-reform-minded District Attorney Chesa Boudin was successfully recalled from office when more than 61 percent of the voters cast their ballots supporting his ouster. Boudin has been blasted both from within and outside of his department as a rigidly doctrinaire adherent of police reform while turning a blind eye to a flurry of smash-and-grab robberies that have taken place in San Francisco’s high-end shopping districts.  

The outcome of these two elections will inevitably be highlighted as a sign that the political winds have shifted decisively away from the push for criminal justice reform and towards a reaffirmation of  traditional notions of law and order.

Some progressives have questioned just how much of a shift this really signifies. San Francisco, they contend, has become more an urban enclave of the wealthy and White than is popularly supposed. And Governor Gavin Newsom — reviled in the ill-fated recall campaign launched against him nine months ago for rising crime rates, rampant homelessness, and cities under attack — won with 65 percent of the vote against a field of 25 opponents, the names of which most voters do not know. 

In his race for reelection, Newsom — brash, tough, and progressive — barely bothered to wage any kind of campaign at all, though he did launch a television ad highlighting that his closest rival, Republican State Senator Brian Dahle — a grain farmer from Lassen County — opposed abortion rights. Newsom won Santa Barbara County with 60 percent of the votes while Dahle took 18.6 percent. They will both head to a runoff election this November.

Lastly, in gauging just how much and how fast the pendulum is swinging back, there is the close race in which Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva — a pugilistic, populist right-wing law man who won office by running as a reformer only to become ensnared in scandal after scandal, fighting with the media, and clashing with other elected officials — enjoys only a slim though significant lead over his closest challenger, former Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna. Typically, the incumbency endows sitting sheriffs with a disproportionate edge. But in this case, Villanueva has only mustered 32 percent of the vote and Luna 26 percent, meaning the two will face each other in a November runoff.


SANTA BARBARA COUNTY

Total Votes: 49,288
Total Registered Voters: 235,212
Turnout: 20.95%

County Superintendent of Schools

Susan Salcido: 28,877 (64.06%)
Christy Lozano: 16,093 (35.70%)
Write-In: 106 (0.24%)

Inside the party for Bill Brown at Courthouse Tavern on election night. | Credit: Ingrid Bostrom

County Supervisor, 2nd District

Laura Capps: 9,379 (95.43%)
Write-In: 449 (4.57%)

County Supervisor, 5th District

Susan Salcido outside Chase Restaurant and Lounge on election night. | Credit: Ingrid Bostrom

Steve Lavagnino: 2,483 (97.87%)
Write-In: 54 (2.13%)

Auditor-Controller

Betsy Schaffer: 36,276 (98.95%)
Write-In: 386 (1.05%)

Clerk, Recorder and Assessor

Joseph Holland: 35,989 (80.97%)
Elrawd MacLearn: 8,356 (18.80%)
Write-In: 100 (0.22%)

District Attorney

John Savrnoch: 36,007 (98.95%)
Write-In: 382 (1.05%)

Sheriff-Coroner

Bill Brown: 25,913 (56.79%)
Juan Camarena: 19,599 (42.96%)
Write-In: 114 (0.25%)

Treasurer-Tax Collector-Public Administrator

Harry Hagen: 39,579 (99.11%)
Write-In: 355 (0.89%)


STATE

U.S. Senate (Partial/Unexpired Term) – Santa Barbara County Results

Reporting: 100% (216 of 216) precincts reporting
Reporting Time: June 17, 2022, 3:36 p.m.

Dan O’Dowd: 3,757 ( 4.3%)
Alex Padilla: 46,970 ( 53.7%)
Timothy Ursich Jr.: 2,368 ( 2.7%)
James P. Bradley: 6,953 ( 7.9%)
Jon Elist: 2,480 ( 2.8%)
Myron L. Hall: 924 ( 1.1%)
Mark P. Meuser: 22,760 ( 26.0%)
Daphne Bradford: 1,298 ( 1.5%)

U.S. Senate (Partial/Unexpired Term) – Statewide Results

Reporting: 100% (20,867 of 20,868) precincts reporting
Reporting Time: July 14, 2022, 4:42 p.m.

Dan O’Dowd: 190,829 ( 2.8%)
Alex Padilla: 3,731,965 ( 55.1%)
Timothy Ursich Jr.: 225,820 ( 3.3%)
James P. Bradley: 470,266 ( 6.9%)
Jon Elist: 402,447 ( 5.9%)
Myron L. Hall: 142,618 ( 2.1%)
Mark P. Meuser: 1,499,147 ( 22.1%)
Daphne Bradford: 111,750 ( 1.6%)

Campaign signs line the outdoor seating at Chase Restaurant and Lounge for an election night celebration. | Credit: Ingrid Bostrom

U.S. House of Representatives District 24 – Santa Barbara County Results

Reporting: 100% (216 of 216) precincts reporting
Reporting Time: June 17, 2022, 3:36 p.m.

Salud Carbajal: 53,488 ( 60.0%)
Brad Allen: 26,330 ( 29.5%)
Jeff Frankenfield: 1,418 ( 1.6%)
Michele R. Weslander Quaid: 7,874 ( 8.8%)

U.S. House of Representatives District 24 – Districtwide Results

Reporting: 100% (662 of 662) precincts reporting
Reporting Time: July 14, 2022, 4:42 p.m.

Salud Carbajal: 110,768 ( 60.0%)
Brad Allen: 57,299 ( 31.0%)
Jeff Frankenfield: 2,713 ( 1.5%)
Michele R. Weslander Quaid: 13,771 ( 7.5%)

Governor – Santa Barbara County Results

Reporting: 100% (216 of 216) precincts reporting
Reporting Time: June 17, 2022, 3:36 p.m.

Anthony “Tony” Fanara: 151 ( 0.2%)
Gavin Newsom: 52,140 ( 57.3%)
Armando “Mando” Perez-Serrato: 395 ( 0.4%)
Joel Ventresca: 626 ( 0.7%)
Ronald A. Anderson: 1,072 ( 1.2%)
Shawn Collins: 1,489 ( 1.6%)
Brian Dahle: 17,713 ( 19.5%)
Ron Jones: 245 ( 0.3%)
Jenny Rae Le Roux: 1,706 ( 1.9%)
David Lozano: 1,609 ( 1.8%)
Daniel R. Mercuri: 297 ( 0.3%)
Cristian Raul Morales: 165 ( 0.2%)
Robert C. Newman II: 1,005 ( 1.1%)
Lonnie Sortor: 84 ( 0.1%)
Anthony Trimino: 3,232 ( 3.6%)
Major Williams: 945 ( 1.0%)
Leo S. Zacky: 1,992 ( 2.2%)
Heather Collins: 251 ( 0.3%)
Luis Javier Rodriguez: 930 ( 1.0%)
Serge Fiankan: 158 ( 0.2%)
James G. Hanink: 92 ( 0.1%)
Woodrow “Woody” Sanders III: 176 ( 0.2%)
Frederic C. Schultz: 145 ( 0.2%)
Reinette Senum: 815 ( 0.9%)
Michael Shellenberger: 3,436 ( 3.8%)
Bradley Zink: 85 ( 0.1%)

Governor – Statewide Results

Reporting: 100% (20,867 of 20,868) precincts reporting
Reporting Time: July 14, 2022, 4:42 p.m.

Anthony “Tony” Fanara: 25,005 ( 0.4%)
Gavin Newsom: 3,936,648 ( 55.9%)
Armando “Mando” Perez-Serrato: 45,316 ( 0.6%)
Joel Ventresca: 66,686 ( 0.9%)
Ronald A. Anderson: 53,337 ( 0.8%)
Shawn Collins: 172,327 ( 2.4%)
Brian Dahle: 1,249,438 ( 17.7%)
Ron Jones: 38,212 ( 0.5%)
Jenny Rae Le Roux: 245,568 ( 3.5%)
David Lozano: 66,381 ( 0.9%)
Daniel R. Mercuri: 36,256 ( 0.5%)
Cristian Raul Morales: 22,252 ( 0.3%)
Robert C. Newman II: 82,551 ( 1.2%)
Lonnie Sortor: 20,906 ( 0.3%)
Anthony Trimino: 245,867 ( 3.5%)
Major Williams: 92,223 ( 1.3%)
Leo S. Zacky: 94,198 ( 1.3%)
Heather Collins: 29,554 ( 0.4%)
Luis Javier Rodriguez: 124,446 ( 1.8%)
Serge Fiankan: 6,170 ( 0.1%)
James G. Hanink: 10,064 ( 0.1%)
Woodrow “Woody” Sanders III: 16,163 ( 0.2%)
Frederic C. Schultz: 17,458 ( 0.2%)
Reinette Senum: 52,761 ( 0.7%)
Michael Shellenberger: 289,559 ( 4.1%)
Bradley Zink: 5,974 ( 0.1%)

Lieutenant Governor – Statewide Results

Reporting: 100% (20,867 of 20,868) precincts reporting
Reporting Time: July 14, 2022, 4:42 p.m.

Eleni Kounalakis: 3,608,480 ( 52.7%)
Jeffrey Highbear Morgan: 228,465 ( 3.3%)
William Cavett “Skee” Saacke: 171,475 ( 2.5%)
David Fennell: 919,472 ( 13.4%)
Clint W. Saunders: 305,301 ( 4.5%)
Angela E. Underwood Jacobs: 1,361,541 ( 19.9%)
Mohammad Arif: 182,836 ( 2.7%)
David Hillberg: 74,024 ( 1.1%)

Gregg Hart speaks with press outside Chase Restaurant and Lounge on election night. | Credit: Ingrid Bostrom

State Assembly District 37 – Santa Barbara County Results

Reporting: 100% (216 of 216) precincts reporting
Reporting Time: June 17, 2022, 3:36 p.m.

Gregg Hart: 50,921 ( 57.7%)
Bruce Wallach: 2,805 ( 3.2%)
Mike Stoker: 34,497 ( 39.1%)

State Assembly District 37 – Districtwide Results

Reporting: 100% (227 of 227) precincts reporting
Reporting Time: July 14, 2022, 4:42 p.m.

Gregg Hart: 54,545 ( 56.1%)
Bruce Wallach: 3,194 ( 3.3%)
Mike Stoker: 39,473 ( 40.6%)

Secretary of State – Statewide Results

Reporting: 100% (20,867 of 20,868) precincts reporting
Reporting Time: July 14, 2022, 4:42 p.m.

Shirley N. Weber: 4,007,399 ( 58.9%)
Rob Bernosky: 1,278,207 ( 18.8%)
Rachel Hamm: 820,577 ( 12.1%)
James “JW” Paine: 253,063 ( 3.7%)
Raul Rodriguez Jr.: 175,324 ( 2.6%)
Gary N. Blenner: 205,083 ( 3.0%)
Matthew D. Cinquanta: 59,270 ( 0.9%)

Controller – Statewide Results

Reporting: 100% (20,867 of 20,868) precincts reporting
Reporting Time: July 14, 2022, 4:42 p.m.

Malia M. Cohen: 1,539,038 ( 22.7%)
Ron Galperin: 689,234 ( 10.2%)
Steve Glazer: 754,338 ( 11.1%)
Yvonne Yiu: 1,021,644 ( 15.1%)
Lanhee Chen: 2,525,984 ( 37.2%)
Laura Wells: 257,359 ( 3.8%)

Treasurer – Statewide Results

Reporting: 100% (20,867 of 20,868) precincts reporting
Reporting Time: July 14, 2022, 4:42 p.m.

Fiona Ma: 3,891,266 ( 57.4%)
Andrew Do: 1,154,804 ( 17.0%)
Jack M. Guerrero: 1,484,577 ( 21.9%)
Meghann Adams: 244,800 ( 3.6%)

Attorney General – Statewide Results

Reporting: 100% (20,867 of 20,868) precincts reporting
Reporting Time: July 14, 2022, 4:42 p.m.

Rob Bonta: 3,747,697 ( 54.3%)
Eric Early: 1,138,658 ( 16.5%)
Nathan Hochman: 1,253,269 ( 18.2%)
Dan Kapelovitz: 219,374 ( 3.2%)
Anne Marie Schubert: 538,338 ( 7.8%)

Insurance Commissioner – Statewide Results

Reporting: 100% (20,867 of 20,868) precincts reporting
Reporting Time: July 14, 2022, 4:42 p.m.

Vinson Eugene Allen: 257,549 ( 3.8%)
Jasper “Jay” Jackson: 124,671 ( 1.9%)
Ricardo Lara: 2,409,149 ( 35.9%)
Marc Levine: 1,205,570 ( 18.0%)
Greg Conlon: 1,083,583 ( 16.2%)
Robert Howell: 1,212,443 ( 18.1%)
Veronika Fimbres: 129,231 ( 1.9%)
Nathalie Hrizi: 190,048 ( 2.8%)
Robert J. Molnar: 93,814 ( 1.4%)

Superintendent of Public Instruction – Statewide Results

Reporting: 100% (20,867 of 20,868) precincts reporting
Reporting Time: July 14, 2022, 4:42 p.m.

Marco Amaral: 546,183 ( 8.7%)
Joseph Guy Campbell: 241,163 ( 3.9%)
Lance Ray Christensen: 743,325 ( 11.9%)
Jim Gibson: 466,794 ( 7.5%)
Ainye E. Long: 696,871 ( 11.1%)
Tony K. Thurmond: 2,874,519 ( 45.9%)
George Yang: 691,849 ( 11.1%)

Board of Equalization District 2 – Districtwide Results

Reporting: 100% (6,509 of 6,509) precincts reporting
Reporting Time: July 14, 2022, 4:42 p.m.

Michela Alioto-Pier: 363,757 ( 18.8%)
Sally J. Lieber: 1,028,665 ( 53.1%)
Peter Coe Verbica: 543,140 ( 28.1%)

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