Capps Rumored to Challenge Williams in District 1 Race
Laura Capps and Das Williams (Photos: Twitter / Santa Barbara County)
By edhat staff
Laura Capps is reportedly ready to challenge current District One Supervisor Das Williams in his 2020 re-election race.
Capps, whose mother and father served in the 24th congressional district, is currently the Vice President of the Santa Barbara Unified School District Board of Education. She has experience working with President Bill Clinton, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, and Secretary John Kerry’s presidential campaign. Locally she's been involved in numerous boards for non-profits including the Community Environmental Council, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and the Interfaith Initiative of Santa Barbara County.
Williams took office on January 2, 2017 to represent the First District of Santa Barbara County after previously being elected to the California State Assembly from 2010-2016. Prior to his service in the Assembly, Williams served 7 years on the Santa Barbara City Council from 2003-2010 and also served as a trustee for Peabody Charter School in Santa Barbara.
According to Newsmakers with Jerry Roberts, sources close to Capps confirm she will challenge Williams and is expected to make an official announcement in the next month.
Williams has come under fire after a recent Los Angeles Times article puts him in the center of the marijuana farm boom in Santa Barbara County. The article reports that Williams received campaign contributions from marijuana growers and consorted with marijuana lobbyists. Local residents have voiced their frustration with the rapid increase of marijuana farms where elected officials opened the door for Santa Barbara County to hold 35% of all issued cultivation licenses. As a comparison, Humboldt County has 22% of all issued cultivation licenses.
About a week later, Capps wrote an opinion article published by the Los Angeles Times. "I support the legalization of marijuana for adult use and the establishment of cannabis businesses, but my county has opened the pot floodgates too far," wrote Capps. She went on to state her biggest concern is the proximity of marijuana farms to children. "It’s a particularly egregious problem in Carpinteria, the school district that neighbors mine, where multiple cannabis cultivation operations have been set up nearby — in some cases, almost next door to — two high schools, an elementary school and two youth centers," she wrote.
Regardless of the recent articles, the Democratic Party of Santa Barbara endorsed Williams for the First District seat.
“We are proud to endorse Supervisor Williams’ re-election campaign. Throughout his career, he has exhibited strong environmental leadership, support for working people, and sought solutions for mental health and homelessness issues. He has demonstrated a commitment to public service,” said Democratic Party of Santa Barbara County Chair Gail Teton-Landis.
The election for the Board of Supervisors will take place during the Primary election in March of 2020.