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<b>SO HAPPY TOGETHER:</b>  City Councilmember Cathy Murillo and election winner Gregg Hart shared a moment last week.

Paul Wellman

SO HAPPY TOGETHER: City Councilmember Cathy Murillo and election winner Gregg Hart shared a moment last week.


Final Election Results Released

Megan Diaz Alley Moves Up a Spot, But Winners Remain the Same


Thursday, November 14, 2013
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With the final tabulation in for last week’s Santa Barbara City Council election, first-time candidate Megan Diaz Alley — the most outspokenly progressive of all the 10 candidates — improved her showing, coming in fifth rather than sixth. While Alley managed to eke out a 17-vote advantage over Lesley Wiscomb, another first-time challenger, it was still nowhere near enough to place her in the winning circle. The top three candidates remain unchanged: incumbent Bendy White with 8,884 votes, former councilmember Gregg Hart with 7,829, and incumbent Frank Hotchkiss with 6,570. Liberal challengers David Landecker and Alley came in fourth and fifth with 5,642 and 5,489, respectively, followed closely by Wiscomb and Jason Nelson with 5,472 and 5,274 votes.

Democrats gathered last Thursday night to celebrate and lick their wounds simultaneously. The celebrating was for maintaining the four-to-three edge they currently enjoy on the council, the latter for blowing their chance to defeat the more conservative Hotchkiss. Four Democrats ran for three open seats, thus splitting the vote. Mayor Helene Schneider posted the most lopsided reelection win in recent history by beating challenger Wayne Scoles 73 percent to 26 percent. With no defining issues or clear slates of candidates, turnout was a lackluster 38 percent, with 4,700 of the 17,659 votes cast turned in the last two days of the election. That’s typically a time dominated by Democratic Party operatives.

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If Alley had not run, it is probable that Hotchkiss would have lost. Thanks, Megan! And it is true that mayor Schneider's victory was lop-sided - she's done a very good job! But it is also true that her per vote cost was likely the highest in SB history, while Scoles's was probably among the lowest, getting more than 4,000 votes, truly grassroots, spending practically nothing,

at_large (anonymous profile)
November 14, 2013 at 5:53 a.m. (Suggest removal)

whoa! at_large, not true at all. If old white guy retread Landecker hadn't run Alley would've and would've replaced Hotchkiss. Some of our old pro Demos need to retire gracefully and get out of the way. A shame Alley lost because of Demo Party infighting and corruption.

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
November 14, 2013 at 6 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Good to know that "at_large" now, amazingly, cares about electing Democrats and Megan Diaz Alley — "the most outspokenly progressive of all the 10 candidates" (as the Indy has reported about her at least five times now). Cute.

As the Indy at last reported here a week after the final election totals became known, Megan Diaz Alley garnered a mere 153 votes fewer than the fourth place candidate, despite Megan Diaz Alley having less than half the fundraising total and maybe 1% of the TV ads running when compared with that fourth place candidate and the confusing and/or angry sixth and seventh place candidates. All of this is a clear indication of which Dem candidate --Megan Diaz Alley-- has the real voter appeal and is poised as the frontrunner challenger candidate for next time in 2015.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
November 14, 2013 at 7:06 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Nice to continue with a relatively balanced Council. The far left Councils of the past are the reason SB is in such a financial hole.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
November 14, 2013 at 8:07 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I find it difficult to believe that anyone, even a self-described progressive, would have failed to note the general air of cluelessness in Ms. Alley's campaign. Surely that too was a factor in the election results.

zappa (anonymous profile)
November 14, 2013 at 10:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

What I find interesting is that simply being anointed by the Demo Party machine qualifies one as a viable candidate. She has lived here for 5 years. She is young and inexperienced, a one year Park & Rec Commissioner. Pretty thin resume for a City Council candidate.

sbreader (anonymous profile)
November 14, 2013 at 2:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

John_Adams (sic): this Democrat cares not at all for far left, know nothing- to-little candidates, with little to no city experience. Landecker, whatever his personal qualities, is extremely knowledgeable and capable, the David Pritchett, perhaps, of the candidates, if you will. Alley, despite her personal qualities, seemed on the campaign trail to be most unqualified. Many voters choose on the basis of appealing personal qualities; if she achieves some in depth municipal knowledge on some aspects of the city other than Parks and Rec, well, it may be a different story in 2015.

at_large (anonymous profile)
November 15, 2013 at 6:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Just how many old, arrogant, affluent, retired, property-owning, car-only driving white guys do we need on city council?

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
November 15, 2013 at 7:27 a.m. (Suggest removal)

What about the measure on Mackenzie Park. Did it pass?

Emily (anonymous profile)
November 15, 2013 at 7:36 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I don't know, John_Adams; we now have White, Hotchkiss, Rowse, House and Francisco --- all white guys, older than 50, car-driving (and maybe car-only - House does bike sometimes), property-owning, although House and, I think, Francisco, rent; and with Montecito-born-and-bred-White, the highest votegetter, very affluent with Hotchkiss and Rowse affluent -- and soon to have another older than 50 property-owning white guy and so on.

But exactly what does this have to do the issues facing the city, many of which are financial, demanding a knowledge of municipal finances? Probably of all the candidates, only Wiscomb had the combined qualities, but she did not have the winning personality, at least it did not seem so in her ads.

This is supposed to be a non-partisan Council. It's very disturbing that it is not, that votes on whatever issue you want to name are predictable by party alignment. Why even bother to discuss them or hold hearings? Seemed to me that Alley was very much in that mode, a mirror image, if you will, of Hotchkiss.

at_large (anonymous profile)
November 15, 2013 at 11:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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