There is a special election on June 5 to fill the Third District seat left vacant by Cathy Murillo when she was elected mayor. There are four candidates vying for the seat, but only two viable candidates.

One candidate has a campaign based solely on being “born and raised” in Santa Barbara. He has no other qualifications to speak of and no skills that will help him govern a city with a $350 million budget. He is being supported by Murillo, who will do anything to get him elected, even giving him a $5,000 campaign contribution, which is unheard of.

Murillo is desperate to get him elected. Getting him elected would mean that her agenda, which is promoted by developers and special interest groups, has the last vote needed to permit unaffordable high density housing downtown without parking spaces, which would cause traffic and parking nightmares. It is a plan that is good for developers, and property owners, but bad for residents.

The other candidate, Michael Vidal, is a financial planner, has 20-plus years of experience in leadership and nonprofit, community-based volunteer work and runs his own business. His is a grass-roots campaign focused on fighting for a better way to plan for the future, affordable housing, improving infrastructure on the Westside, and preserving the things we love about Santa Barbara, not destroy them.

This is an important election. If you live in the Third District you need to make it a point to vote. It is the only way we can elect an independent voice who will fight for us.


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