The Santa Barbara Independent said that “Jay Freeman campaigns as if he’s having the most fun in this race,” and that’s absolutely true. That’s because I already have been doing the job of a county supervisor. I’m filling in where the county and its leaders are overlooking the problems they face. For me, this isn’t a race for power; it’s an attempt to speed us toward long-lasting solutions.
I am not one of the establishment candidates. I’m not allied with any political party. I’m self-funding my campaign. I have an optimistic view of what is possible, and I truly want to hear what everyone has to say. I want everyone to have a voice, and that’s something I’ve fought for in various ways through my last two years of active service to this community.
The Independent has a tradition of good reporting. But The Independent has misunderstood this race and misrepresented the math in its assertion that my candidacy would push Bruce Porter to victory. Because the three independent candidates in this race virtually guarantee a runoff election in November, this primary is a chance to vote without fear of settling for “the lesser of two evils.”
Any vote against Porter will prevent him from reaching the 50-plus-1-percent mark needed to win outright. The opposition against Porter can vote for any of a number of candidates; my supporters and Joan Hartmann’s form the same pool against Porter’s attempted majority. Any vote that is not for Bruce Porter is one against him.
And we need a true progressive in this swing seat on the Board of Supervisors. My vocal alternative to the establishment brings out voters who would otherwise not vote. With real options and a higher voter turnout, we push the race away from a simple majority for any one candidate and toward a runoff.
I’m not campaigning in the traditional sense. I’m actively meeting and organizing with everyday citizens. We need to stand up for our unincorporated communities — Isla Vista, Santa Ynez, Los Alamos, Vandenberg Village, and Gaviota, to name a few — which face the same problems of neglect and nonrepresentation by the county. This sounds like an obvious problem to fix, but the reality is the county and its leaders are failing to reach out and listen to the people it serves. I show up to meetings at the Board of Supervisors and in the community, report what I’ve learned, and push the county to do better. That’s why I decided to step up and run.
I entered this race to provide voters with a real choice: a new relationship with the government that serves them. I’m running for County Supervisor to represent the entire 3rd District. I can be the true and fearless voice Santa Barbara County needs.
Jay Freeman is a candidate for 3rd District County Supervisor.