Last week at its monthly meeting, the Santa Barbara County Republican Party Central Committee unanimously decided to support the candidacies of former county supervisor Mike Stoker for the 19th State Senate District and incumbent Katcho Achadjian for the 35th State Assembly District. Both districts are newly redrawn.
Gregory Gandrud, chairman of the Santa Barbara County Republican Party, said in a prepared statement: “Mike Stoker and Katcho Achadjian both embrace the Republican Party policies of less government and more freedom as the keys to creating more jobs and better opportunities for the people of California. Stoker and Achadjian,” he continued, “will fight for pension reform, improved education, and lower taxes.”
Former Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado and former Screen Actors Guild VP Chris Mitchum are the two Republican candidates running for California’s 23rd congressional district seat, currently held by Lois Capps. The Santa Barbara County Republicans have yet to endorse either candidate and don’t plan to until after a March 10 town hall meeting. The public will be invited to attend that event and ask Maldonado and Mitchum questions, and the candidates will be able to publicly clarify their political positions.
Since Prop. 14 passed in 2010, there are no longer partisan primaries in California, but political parties can choose to endorse a candidate. “Stoker and Achadjian aren’t opposed, so it was an easier decision to make,” Gandrud said over the phone. “But the congressional race is contested, so it is more difficult. We’re holding off an endorsement until after March 10.”