Last week, city council candidate Alejandra Gutierrez won the election against incumbent Jason Dominguez. Starting early next year, Gutierrez will represent District 1, the Eastside, as Santa Barbara’s new city council member.
Gutierrez won the election by a thin margin of eight votes. Gutierrez received 964 votes, while Dominguez received 955 and candidate Cruzito Cruz obtained 100.
In a statement for Noozhawk, Gutierrez declared, “I want to wish my opponent, Jason Dominguez, the best of luck and thank him for a good race that focused on our shared Eastside community … The race was decided by less than 10 votes, and I have to thank all of you — this community. This town is not perfect, but it’s our home and we are extremely proud of it.”
As a previous low-income Santa Barbara native, Gutierrez ran on a campaign of solutions for gang violence and homelessness. Gutierrez holds experience assisting those in impoverished, as the director of the Franklin Neighborhood Center. Since she now serves as a city council member in addition to her role as director of the organization, Gutierrez seeks to tie non-profit efforts into policy prescriptions.
In a statement regarding the outcome of the election, Jason Dominguez remarked, “While this result is not what we hoped for, I am immensely grateful to my wife, Kaci, and to all the volunteers and supporters who worked so hard … I remain focused on the next chapter and the work ahead, and I am running for State Assembly because the single biggest issues facing our communities cannot be solved at the local level alone.”
Through his ongoing bid for State Assembly, Dominguez carries similar goals as Gutierrez concerning homelessness. According to Assembly candidate, “The twin crises of homelessness and the lack of affordable housing are getting worse every day, and I am committed to tackling these challenges.”
In District 2, covering the Mesa, Mike Jordan won the election for council member in a race which had no incumbent.
Jordan received 35.92% of the votes, with Brian Campbell earning 26.2% and fellow candidates Teri Jory, Tavis Boise and Luis Esparza collecting the remaining ballots.
Jordan was widely known as the candidate with the most political experience, having 10 years on City Hall’s Planning Commision and four on its Water Commision.
Jordan ran on a campaign focusing on the expansion of housing downtown and amendments of parking and building height restrictions. As a self-described “career politician,” Jordan strove to win the vote of Democrats seeking an experienced and balanced candidate.
Jordan’s closest opponent, Brian Campbell, ran Republican and sought to face issues of homelessness as well as represent the Republican minority.
Both Gutierrez and Jordan will begin their duties as council members this January.