Here is the money.
In what is shaping up to be one of the costliest campaigns in Santa Barbara election history, city council candidate Barrett Reed leads all fundraising candidates with $ 161,843.
That’s a staggering number for a district election race where only about 6,000 ballots were cast in the previous election, in 2019.
Reed, a real estate investor and co-founder of The Miramar Group, is seeking to overthrow incumbent Kristen Sneddon, who raised $ 45,538, for the District 4 seat.
“Elections are not decided by who has the most money, but by who best represents the residents,” Sneddon said. âI am proud of the broad base of support I have from local voters. One of the advantages of district elections is the possibility of having a genuinely popular campaign supported by individuals in the community.
The November 2 election in Santa Barbara includes the races for mayor, the seat of the city council of district 4, the seat of the city council of district 5 and the seat of the city council of district 6. The city is the only one in the city. region to still hold odd-numbered elections, and will move to even-numbered elections in 2024 as part of its transition to district elections.
While money is not a predictor of campaign success, it does show how seriously a candidate takes the election and the depth of support from individuals and groups in the community.
Candidates who raise the most money, have a clear message that resonates with voters, and have the best organizational campaign on the ground, are generally successful on Election Day.
Former Deckers CEO Angel Martinez raised $ 343,000 in his bid for mayor four years ago but came in fourth, around nine percentage points behind the winner, current Mayor Cathy Murillo.
Santa Barbara holds municipal elections on November 2 for the mayor, district 4 city council seat, district 5 city council seat, and district 6 city council seat. (Santa Barbara city photo)
Reed already spends time in the neighborhoods of District 4, has purchased several YouTube ads, and has launched his campaign with media fanfare.
According to fundraising documents filed with the Santa Barbara City Clerk’s Office, Reed’s contributions to the campaign so far include: $ 4,900 from developer Peter Lewis; $ 4,900 from Arthur Nelson, Marketing Director of Sotheby’s, and $ 4,900 from owner Richard Berti. He is strongly supported by the real estate and development community which is not satisfied with the attitude of the town hall towards business.
âPeople have asked me how my campaign has raised so much money,â Reed said. ” It’s easy. People really want to see change in our city. Like me, many are devastated by what has happened over the past four years, our downtown, the massive resignations of city staff and the lack of leadership from the Council on Homelessness and Infrastructure. People want change and are ready to help me make it.
Sneddon received $ 4,900 from retired Santa Barbara City College professor Karl Halbach; $ 2,500 from Richard Closson and $ 1,500 from gas station owner and promoter John Price.
The other competitive race in terms of fundraising is the battle for the mayor.
Mayor Cathy Murillo leads fundraising totals to date, with $ 50,000 raised last year before other candidates entered the race.
For the January to June 30 fundraiser, former City Councilor Randy Rowse leads the contest with $ 131,921, followed by Planning Commission Chair Deborah Schwartz at $ 105,965. The third is Murillo with $ 85,096.
The competition’s fourth contestant, James Joyce, raised $ 31,000 in the first six months of 2021.
The strength of Rowse and Schwartz’s fundraising shows how many people in the community are willing to donate to oust Murillo. Much of their money comes from the interests of developers and businesses.
The town hall experienced difficult times during Murillo’s tenure as mayor, with an exodus of executive staff including the director of community development, the director of finance, the city administrator and several positions in the service of the city. planning.
Growing political unrest and litigation have prompted questions about Murillo’s leadership skills, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Murillo received $ 4,900 from Local 104 of the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association; $ 4,900 from the United Food and Commercial Workers; and $ 4,900 from the Labor Local 220 Political Action Committee.
Rowse received $ 4,900 from Richard Berti; $ 4,900 from Ben Howland; $ 4,500 from financier Earl Minniel and $ 2,500 from retired geologist David Larson.
Schwartz received $ 4,900 from Death Star LLC; $ 4,900 from Santa Barbara Shellfish Company; and $ 4,900 from the California Real Estate Political Action Committee.
Joyce, owner of Coffee With a Black Guy, received $ 4,900 from philanthropist Sara Miller-McCune, $ 4,500 from Elizabeth Batarse and $ 2,750 from Marsha Marcoe. He also received contributions of $ 250 from Bill Cirone, retired principal, and Laura Capps, member of the Santa Barbara school board.
In the District 6 City Council contest, incumbent Meagan Harmon raised $ 28,738. Her strongest opponent, Nina Johnson, senior assistant to the city administrator, recently withdrew papers to run for the seat and has yet to report any fundraising funds.
Candidate Jason Carlton also applied in District 6, but did not report any financial contributions.
In District 5, outgoing board member Eric Friedman raised $ 48,601 this year. UCSB sociology professor John Foran withdrew documents but did not report funds raised.
The nomination period deadline for candidates in the November 2 election is Friday.