Cruzito Cruz won the distinction of being the 13th candidate to qualify for the Santa Barbara City Council race, after persuading Judge William McLafferty to overturn his disqualification from the ballot for failing to obtain the necessary number of qualified signatures. Cruz was initially disqualified because the city clerk ruled that several of the signatures Cruz initially turned in did not match the signatures on the individuals’ voter registration forms. When Cruz submitted sworn statements from some of the disqualified voters claiming that the signatures were, in fact, authentic, the judge ruled in Cruz’s favor. Similar problems afflicted enough signatures submitted by mayoral hopeful-and city councilmember-Iya Falcone, that she did not qualify for the mayoral ballot. Falcone, however, opted not to challenge the City Clerk’s Office, in part because many legal experts contended it would have been futile to do so.