Jonathan Abboud | Credit: Courtesy

Isla Vista Community Services District cofounder and Santa Barbara City College trustee Jonathan Abboud announced today he would be dropping out of the race for California State Assembly, instead endorsing the new party favorite — 2nd District Supervisor Gregg Hart — for Assembly and throwing his name in the race for Hart’s soon-to-be-vacated spot on the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors.

“Gregg has been a great county supervisor, a true leader throughout the pandemic with extensive experience in local government; tackling some of our community’s toughest issues, including housing; and ensuring generations can continue to live in Santa Barbara County, and will be excellent for our district,” Abboud said. “I hope you will join me in supporting him.”

Since Hart’s seat on the Board of Supervisors will be wide open, Abboud said he was “encouraged by many community leaders” to run for the position to represent the 2nd District, where Abboud has lived for more than 11 years and which, after last year’s redistricting, now stretches from Stearns Wharf to Isla Vista.

“Nearly every day since 2017, I’ve worked with the County Board of Supervisors and navigated county departments to deliver high-quality public services to county residents as a local government executive; since 2012, I did the same as a community leader. This knowledge and experience will be invaluable in serving in the role of county supervisor,” he said.

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Abboud was elected to Santa Barbara City College’s Board of Trustees in 2014 and has since been reelected to a second term. He is the board’s youngest and arguably most progressive-minded voice and has maintained a focus on education in every leadership position he has held. “Education has been the ‘why’ of my political involvement since the beginning,” he said when announcing his campaign for assembly in November 2021.

In the few months since then, Abboud said his campaign raised nearly $60,000, “received several endorsements from community leaders and elected officials, and began a strong grassroots mobilization of volunteers.”

For the supervisor role, Abboud said he has already heard from voters about a range of issues, from the “soaring costs of housing and childcare” to homelessness and climate change.

“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 said.

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