Santa Barbara school board member and Democrat Monique Limon raised more than $103,160 in the first reporting cycle in the race for the 37th State Assembly Seat. After expenses, Limon has about $90,000 in her campaign piggy bank. Das Williams, who holds the seat but terms out in 2016, has endorsed her and no other candidates are currently in the race.
Erik Nasarenko, who is a Democratic Ventura city councilmember, dropped out from the race last month after he announced his candidacy in May. He has endorsed Limon, and so have a long list of Democrats, including State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, county supervisors Salud Carbajal, Doreen Farr, and Janet Wolf, and all of her fellow Santa Barbara school board members. There are about 16 percent more registered Democrats in the district, which spans from Santa Barbara to Ventura.
Republicans, meanwhile, have apparently taken to Craigslist to encourage candidates to run for elected office in 2016. A post from earlier this year that has since been taken down stated “Republican Candidates Needed.” The post read, “Potentially excellent pay and benefits, depending on position sought.”
Former county party chair Gregory Gandrud said the post “sounds more like a consultant doing advertising” rather than from a member of the party. Gandrud added that the chapter had advertised for staff positions online or recruited on Facebook for local races such as school board or Goleta City Council, but not for a 2016 race. “I think that’s a pretty reasonable thing for a political party to do,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any shame in that.” Gandrud added he suspects a Republican will challenge Limon. “I don’t recall when we didn’t have a candidate [in the race],” he said.