Mike Stoker officially announced his candidacy for the 19th State Senate District on Wednesday, two days before the deadline. Stoker is the lone Republican squaring off in the open June 5 primary against two Democrats, former Assemblymember Hannah-Beth Jackson and current Oxnard Harbor Commissioner Jason Hodge.
Stoker made the announcement surrounded by supporters on the steps on the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. “This is the last time we can elect leaders that will be business friendly and create jobs again,” he said, explaining it’s time for state government to be downsized, consolidated, and streamlined. He said that in the last four years, state lawmakers have placed the budget burden on the backs of local citizens. “It’s time state pensions to feel the pain,” he declared.
Amid cheers of “We Like Mike!” Stoker announced, “I make the pledge I will not support any future budgets that steal one more dime from our cities, counties, and schools. It’s time the state government feel the pain just as the cities, counties, and schools have and the way all the rest of us have in the private sector.”
Standing between State Senator Tony Strickland and Santa Barbara City Councilmember Frank Hotchkiss, Stoker claimed to be known for having “strong bipartisan support from Democrats, Independents, and Republicans to get things done,” a trait that will prove important in a campaign that will address issues from the state budget to offshore drilling.