State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson announced her endorsement for City of Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider in her bid to replace nine-term congressmember Lois Capps after she concludes her term next year. Jackson cited Schneider’s “unwavering” support for women’s reproductive choice and women’s equality, recounting in an effusive campaign statement how she and Schneider have stood “shoulder to shoulder” on women’s issues for the past 20 years. For Schneider, a two-term mayor who finds herself running as a “shake up the status quo” outsider, Jackson’s is by far the biggest-name endorsement she has received to date. Schneider was equally effusive in her gratitude, praising Jackson as “our beloved State Senator” and “a fearless leader on behalf of women.”
Although five candidates are currently running for the 24th Congressional District seat now occupied by Capps, the most intense drama has centered on the showdown between Schneider and County 1st District Supervisor Salud Carbajal, both moderate liberal Democrats. To date, Carbajal has raised far more money than Schneider and has also secured the lion’s share of major political endorsements. Backing Carbajal is Capps herself, not to mention California Attorney General Kamala Harris, current House minority leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, and former Santa Barbara mayors Marty Blum, Hal Conklin, and Sheila Lodge. This week, it was announced that Santa Barbara councilmembers Gregg Hart and Cathy Murillo have endorsed Carbajal, as well.
Jackson’s endorsement, however, helps bolster Schneider’s campaign narrative highlighting her lifelong commitment to feminist values and gender equality, which flagged after she failed to win the endorsement of the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee, the organization out of which she emerged politically. Carbajal — who is highlighting his history as the son of immigrants and migrant workers — failed to win that endorsement, as well. None of the candidates could secure the votes needed according to the committee bylaws.