How Will 2019 Council Election Affect Business?

It is unclear at the moment what the mail-in Nov. 5 Santa Barbara city election will mean toward business, but only one change on the seven-member council is certain and the other seat up for grabs might become a dog fight. 

Incumbent Eastside First District Councilman Jason Dominquez, an attorney, whose turf includes six blocks of State Street, faces two opponents in his bid for a second term. Dominguez is frequently at odds with the mayor.

His opponents: Franklin Center chief Alejandra Gutierrez, heavily backed by Mayor Cathy Murillo; and political gadfly Cruzito Herrera Cruz, a frequent council candidate. 

Campaign war chest fund raising and some local Democratic Party organizing with labor unions could determine the outcome of this race, even though Dominguez was once a central committee member. The mayor has huge party and union backing.

Councilman Randy Rouse, owner of the Paradise CafĂ©, is termed out. So, his Mesa-area Second District seat is wide open.

 Hopefuls who want to fill that spot include: financial real estate man Brian Campbell; planning commissioner Mike Jordan, another Murillo ally; private attorney Luis Esparza; MBA student and surfer Tavis Boise; and Teri Jory, owner of fitness company Poise Productions. 

Santa Barbara City Council members Oscar Gutierrez, also Murillo backed, and Megan Harmon were given new terms on the council by the other sitting council members in a bid to save $106,000 in election costs. 

Harmon and Gutierrez won’t have to run for election in November since they faced no formal opposition. Harmon is a private attorney and Gutierrez works for TVSB. 

Gutierrez won a special election in 2018. Harmon was appointed earlier this year to fill the seat of Gregg Hart, who was unopposed for a county supervisor’s seat. 

Posted Aug. 26, 2019. 

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