Texas housing developer and part-time Santa Barbara resident Randall Van Wolfswinkel wound up spending $666,000 in last fall’s City Council elections, falling short of the $1 million mark some expected but shattering campaign spending records of any local election in Santa Barbara County. What made Van Wolfswinkel’s spending unique, aside from the sheer volume, was his approach. He did not just throw his money behind certain candidates, but he spent lavishly in opposition to specific candidates, such as Helene Schneider, who won the mayoral race, plus Grant House and Bendy White, who prevailed in their bids for council seats.
The latest round of campaign finance reports are in for the hotly contested 35th District of the California State Assembly. In the July-December reporting period, Das Williams ($331,387) pulled ahead of Susan Jordan ($224,829) in total money raised by some $106,000. More importantly, Williams more than doubled the amount of cash taken in by Jordan in the most recent fundraising period, and has now has raised the most cash out of all Democratic State Senate hopefuls.