It was another near standing room only crowd that filled the Faulkner Gallery of Santa Barbara's main library on Monday night to see Joyce Dudley and Joshua Lynn, the two candidates who are vying to be Santa Barbara's next district attorney, engage in the latest in their series of debates.
If the audience members were attracted by the prospect of fireworks between the two prosecutors, who reputedly have no love lost between them, they were probably disappointed.
While each candidate came off very prepared and very smooth, there was little tension and even less drama between them.
But then again, there was barely time for the candidates to get warmed up let alone for things to heat up.
Whomever planned the format of this debate must have figured the attendees would be double parked outside while the debate was going on inside. Opening statements, 10 questions posed to the candidates and then closing statements. It started promptly at 6:30 pm and was over a mere 45 minutes later leaving the audience plenty of time to get home in time to watch Dancing With The Stars.
The ground rules for the debate, which included, no personal attacks and all responses addressed to the audience (as opposed to the opponent) left little opportunity to commit flagrant fouls. But honestly, there weren't even any minor infractions.
Not unexpectedly, neither candidate came across as being soft on crime.
In probably the most colorful sound byte of the evening, Lynn seemed to be channeling Marlon Brando in "The Godfather" when he said, "The DA's office is like a family . . . When I'm DA, gangs will know us, they will fear us."
And no, he wasn't holding a cat in his lap when he delivered that line.
Dudley underscored her experience at one point remarking that she was prosecuting cases before Lynn was ever sworn in as a member of the bar.
I halfway expected her to pull out an AARP card to emphasize the difference in age between the two.
And the candidates did shake hands with each other at the end of the debate.
P.S. The debate was sponsored by Santa Barbara Women Lawyers the League of Women Voters and the Santa Barbara County Bar Association. It was moderated by Angela Roach, president elect of the Women Lawyers.