One of the offices on the ballot June 7 is that of First District Santa Barbara County supervisor. The First District includes Carpinteria, Summerland, Montecito and (roughly) the eastern part of the City of Santa Barbara.
There are two candidates for this open seat (the incumbent is giving it up to run for Congress). One of the candidates has high name recognition due, in no small part, to the fact that he has run for a number of positions over the years.
The other candidate is Jennifer Christensen, an independent, who is running for office for the first time. In this particular race the candidate with the lesser name recognition is the more highly qualified one.
Jennifer Christensen is a person of integrity, intelligence and accomplishment. She has an MBA and she currently serves as the county’s investment officer.
That “largest rainy day fund in county history,” that the current First District supervisor boasts about in his TV ads for Congress? Jen Christensen actually authored the policy that resulted in that landmark rainy day fund. This is important because the county will be facing many challenges in the coming years, including improving the delivery of mental health services, maintaining an aging infrastructure of county roads, and making sure that sheriff and fire protection services are adequately funded to keep our communities safe.
Jennifer Christensen is also committed to protecting the environment. She is familiar with the planning and land-use issues that face county government and will insist that environmental impact reports will be required and carefully scrutinized when the Board of Supervisors considers proposals for new developments and projects that impact our coast and open space.
I am a lifelong Democrat who usually (all things being equal) votes for the Democratic candidate in any given race. This time, though, I’m not voting for the Democratic candidate with the higher name recognition.
In the First District supervisor’s race, Jennifer Christensen is the better choice and is getting my vote.