Isla Vista Community Services District cofounder and Santa Barbara City College trustee Jonathan Abboud launched his campaign Thursday to run for State Assembly in 2022.
Abboud came in fourth place during the primary race for the same seat in 2020, in a field that included mayor Cathy Murillo, former city councilmember Jason Dominguez, and eventual winner and current 37th District Assemblymember Steve Bennett.
With California currently in the process of redrawing the lines for State Senate and Assembly districts, the 37th District would no longer include western Ventura County, meaning the district could be left without an incumbent and offer a wide-open race in 2022.
Elected onto SBCC’s Board of Trustees in 2014, Abboud is the board’s youngest and arguably most progressive-minded voice — championing a number of policies at the college, including the Black Lives Matter resolution in July 2020.
“I am passionate about the Central Coast and making it a better place for all who live here, raise a family here, work here, own a business here, or attend school here,” Abboud said in a statement declaring his intentions to run for the assembly seat.
Abboud plans to maintain his focus on education as a top priority and said education was the main reason he got into politics in the first place. “Education has been the ‘why’ of my political involvement since the beginning,” he said.
In addition to education, Abboud will run on a platform that will address concerns raised by voters in his community: the rising prices and lack of availability in housing and childcare, dedicated action to house homeless people, and climate-related issues and their effects on natural disasters.
“An Assemblymember should serve and represent the people of this district and tackle the issues that they feel are most important,” Abboud said. “We need an energetic, selfless, and responsible leader, one who will put the people and their rights first. I have never been afraid to take on and successfully address long-term tough issues at every level of my community leadership.”
Abboud is the first candidate to officially announce a campaign for the 37th District State Assembly seat in the 2022 election.