Laura Capps to Take On Das Williams for County Supervisor

Laura Capps to Take On Das Williams for County Supervisor title=
Laura Capps to Take On Das Williams for County Supervisor
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Laura Capps and Das Williams (Photos: Twitter / Santa Barbara County)

By edhat staff

It's official. Laura Capps announced she will run for Santa Barbara County Supervisor challenging incumbent Das Williams.

Rumors began swirling last month that Capps was gearing up to compete for the First District spot but this coming Tuesday at 3:00 p.m., she's planning to make her official announcement in the Rose Garden of Old Mission Santa Barbara, reports Jerry Roberts.

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. 

Last week Das Williams sent out a campaign email asking for support stating this will be his "toughest re-election campaign yet." 

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.

He's already endorsed by the Democratic Party of Santa Barbara. Capps, a fellow Democrat, reportedly has a strong following which may cause tension with political alliances. Jerry Roberts wrote this matchup will likely "test and strain local political alliances, personal friendships and loyalties within the environmental, education and non-profit communities."

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.

The election for the Board of Supervisors will take place during the Primary election in March of 2020.

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a-1568892125 Aug 26, 2019 02:30 PM
Laura Capps to Take On Das Williams for County Supervisor

Das' record is spotted with arrogance and hubris, from City Council to Assembly and now to County Supervisor. He's in this spot because Salud moved him into it (and to ensure he didn't challenge Salud for Congress). Das has done some good things, and some bad things in all his seats held so far. Laura served in DC, and was told to get 'to the back of the line' in running for any office by the local Dem tribe here. They let her go for school board, since no one else was interested in running. That tells you what they think of our children. The Dem party is likely sharpening their scissors for Laura Capps now that she's decided to run. Good for her! She certainly won't be any worse than Das, and she might be a lot better. Let her make her case, I say, and if it's a good case, let's elect her.

PitMix Aug 26, 2019 12:51 PM
Laura Capps to Take On Das Williams for County Supervisor

Based on what? Lots of labels but no actual facts in your post. She was against the pot proliferation in the County which in hindsight seems like a really good idea. See the Indy interview with her thoughts on making major land use decisions with an ad hoc committee dominated by Williams and Lavagnino.

a-1568892125 Aug 26, 2019 08:39 AM
Laura Capps to Take On Das Williams for County Supervisor

Das has distinguished himself as a public servant with a quick and creative mind, determined to find a way to address issues. He's not perfect, but he's a very hard worker who actually listens and provides thoughtful constituent service. I am at a loss to say what Ms. Capps has accomplished as an unelected school board member, rubber stamping the poor leadership of the current superintendent. Look at the stagnant test scores, the financial woes and the obsession with purchasing property rather than investing in the basics of education. It's bad enough at the school board level, she doesn't deserve a promotion to do more of the same at the County, when we all know it's just another stepping stone in the political career she craves and believes she's entitled to.

PitMix Aug 26, 2019 12:56 PM
Laura Capps to Take On Das Williams for County Supervisor

Where do you want them to start their political careers? Elsewhere in this thread is someone criticizing candidates who don't have any political experience. If you can lay out your preferred plan for politicians, that would be helpful.

Alexblue Aug 26, 2019 10:53 AM
Laura Capps to Take On Das Williams for County Supervisor

I'm not a fan of Capps, but I would never criticize her or any citizen for running--the more the better. I simply think she's Das with less experience--same machine, same views, same ol same ol.

mm1970 Aug 26, 2019 09:47 AM
Laura Capps to Take On Das Williams for County Supervisor

Interesting. For fun, I downloaded the state test scores (CAASPP) for all elementary and junior high students for SBUSD, and plotted them by year, grade, subject, and "graduation year". For the most part, we are on a upward trend for both ELA and math - both in overall test scores (expected, as the required passing score goes up each year), and in % at or exceeding standards. The trend is particularly strong for ELA.

PitMix Aug 26, 2019 08:57 AM
Laura Capps to Take On Das Williams for County Supervisor

Let the negative campaigning begin, started by a Das supporter. Something to remember when the election rolls around. Running against a fellow liberal is a time honored tradition in SB. Remember when Das tried to run against Janet Wolf? So, hard to criticize Ms. Capps for this without looking very hypocritical.

Red Creek Aug 25, 2019 11:03 AM
Laura Capps to Take On Das Williams for County Supervisor

Yes, Das, it will be tough election because Laura is an excellent, well qualified candidate AND you angered many many people when you sold out your community to those in the big buck cannabis industry who don't even live here).

Alexblue Aug 25, 2019 07:08 PM
Laura Capps to Take On Das Williams for County Supervisor

Laura is a well qualified candidate? Is she really, though? Basically she's just Das but born in to a political legacy. Serving on a bunch of boards is the easiest way for wealthy and connected people to stack up credentials--same with the School Board position.

a-1568892125 Aug 24, 2019 03:05 PM
Laura Capps to Take On Das Williams for County Supervisor

Seems like Laura has skipped at least a couple steps in the system as far as real hands on experience with local government. The fact that she has been involved with EDC and Planned Parenthood puts her in my good books, but is she ready to be a County Supervisor? Fill me in, please.

PitMix Aug 26, 2019 09:08 AM
Laura Capps to Take On Das Williams for County Supervisor

As I remember, the Supervisor seats are commonly held by people with no previous elective municipal office experience. Salud Carbajal, Janet Wolf, Joan Harmon, Peter Adams, Susan Rose, etc. It doesn't seem to have held them back any. All have been good effective Supervisors. As long as they have long ties in the community, a political record, and/or run a successful business, that seems to be enough.

a-1568892125 Aug 24, 2019 01:36 PM
Laura Capps to Take On Das Williams for County Supervisor

Sadly, anybody running for elected office higher than the local school board is always in the back pocket of the money people and they are controlled forever. Look at: the SB Supes, local city councils, state government, the U.S. Congressional Republicans & the NRA, the Dems. & Hollywood & other media outlets, look at big pharma and both sides. It's sad. Oh, whatever happened to getting rid of Citizens United? Hah!

helena Aug 24, 2019 11:09 AM
Laura Capps to Take On Das Williams for County Supervisor

Both have longstanding machines behind them--in many cases, the same cogs--and both will have access to funding. As the comments show, Das might have sided too heavily with the pot industry as he maneuvered through new territory. This, then, provided the opening for Laura. My kids attended CHS, and during that time I was well aware of the skunky aroma there. I imagine schools in, say, Gilroy contend with their own aroma issues; they're both farming communities. I've never felt Das wasn't trying to reach a middle ground for all concerned. I've never felt he wasn't listening to his constituents, and I've seen him work hard. I don't doubt he's aiming for higher office but perhaps that's true of the senators' daughter as well. I attended a recent rally where both candidates spoke. Ms. Capps seemed nervous as she read a prepared speech. Mr. Williams spoke strongly and extemporaneously as his young daughter twirled around his legs. I may well be voting for Laura in the future, but Das will have my vote now.

JoeG Aug 24, 2019 02:09 PM
Laura Capps to Take On Das Williams for County Supervisor

The Das Machine is already out in force. Backhanded comments about Capps. Aside from that, I’m always amazed how many folks are sucked in by the slick-talking, silver tongue. I’d rather vote for someone who’s nervous in front of crowds, but honest on the issues, rather than a slimy used car salesman that knows how to manipulate me with his double-talk. Williams works hard for Williams. He’s a career politician who only cares about his own existence. My vote goes to Capps. Anyone But Das.

a-1568892125 Aug 24, 2019 02:01 PM
Laura Capps to Take On Das Williams for County Supervisor

You’ve never felt Das wasn’t trying to reach a middle ground? Then you probably didn’t see his actions on the Camp 4 AdHoc Committee when he sold the county out. He had no business being on that committee with the amount of tribal donations he had been given. Doreen Farr and Peter Adam had worked diligently and fairly for their constituents. Das and Joan came in with a back room deal, pushed their agenda and the county got screwed. The cannabis industry contributing 16K is nothing. That’s reasonable. But tribal governments contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars to Das is entirely another....

CoastWatch Aug 24, 2019 12:57 PM
Laura Capps to Take On Das Williams for County Supervisor

Da$ panders to anyone with a checkbook of favors- The Chumash and OTHER Tribes from around the State contributed more than $115K his last run- The Cannabis Inc. and the Local Unions...The SBCoSheriff's Association just announce they are supporting DA$... He is and strives to be a "career politician" and everything that goes with it, and the SB Democratic Machine just keeps passing him the baton.

bigone Aug 24, 2019 09:33 AM
Laura Capps to Take On Das Williams for County Supervisor

Das achieved an almost saint-like status among his many admirers, but that moniker has obviously tarnished among many of his previous supporters due to the Carpenteria/marijuana controversy. I voted for Das myself but I really don't know anything about Laura, so I can't make any judgement at all about her right now. However, I think her candidacy points to another issue that the entire state is facing right now. And that's the problem that we have essentially become a one-party system which seems to be leaning farther and farther radically left, starting with the governor. This is a dangerous situation as the right has been essentially silenced, and we've all heard of the old adage that absolute power corrupts absolutely. I hope she emerges as a worthy candidate but it would be good to see some alternative candidates emerge, as well. However, since she resides in a heavily Democratic area and her family name is well-known, she is probably a shoe-in regardless of whoever else runs against her. By the way, hopefully the new Edhat "downvote" policy will not get this or any other individual's comments deleted. (thanks for that new policy, Ed!)

SantaBarbaraObserver Aug 24, 2019 09:26 AM
Laura Capps to Take On Das Williams for County Supervisor

Capps needs to sit this one and every other election out. We do not need family dynasties, nor the nepotism and favoritism that comes from such insular relationships. We need to move beyond "Professional" politicians and have actual representatives represent us... While I am sure she is a smart and kind person, she is simply not capable of understanding the realities that most people face these days because she has spent her entire life inside a protected bubble of political shills, favoritism and of course, privilege. The modern CA Democratic party has long since lost its way. The last thing we need are people who were raised inside this silo by the very people who are to blame for our political, social and economic ailments. New people and their experiences are the heart and soul of representative democracy. If the farmer doesnt refresh the soil, mix up the plantings, the land not be fertile and will not feed the community or allow for a future.

a-1568892125 Aug 24, 2019 12:01 AM
Laura Capps to Take On Das Williams for County Supervisor

I know, instead of a “seasoned politician”, let’s find a failed business person or someone else who doesn’t know what they are doing to run. (Sarcasm). In 2008, I was a precinct captain for Obama. We shared office space with volunteers for Hannah Beth. Das was volunteering/working for her that election. He was there every night, manning the phones. No other politician spent as much time there, doing the grunt work. And Das authored numerous good bills while in the Assembly. When I read this morning that Capps was running, I contacted Das to volunteer and to donate to his campaign. He has my vote.

a-1568892125 Aug 23, 2019 09:18 PM
Laura Capps to Take On Das Williams for County Supervisor

Das "consorted with marijuana lobbyists." You make it sound like something illicit took place. C'mon, Edhat. I'm not a die-hard Das supporter, but you really should watch your language. (Definition of consorted: "Habitually associate with (someone), typically with the disapproval of others.")

a-1568892125 Aug 23, 2019 07:42 PM
Laura Capps to Take On Das Williams for County Supervisor

Das had a plan. When his assembly seat was termed out he needed a place holder until a better office opened up. That plan was to use the office of 1st District Supervisor for four years until he could run for the senate. He already had campaign contributions in an account labeled as “ Das Williams For Sentate 2020”. That changed when attention was brought to it and others who were more sincere had a better chance. So here he is stuck running for four more years in a local election. You can tell from his attitude that he believes this supervisor job is beneath him. He is a career politician biding his time. Local elected officials are supposed to be non partisan. Neither party should be endorsing anyone for these seats.

a-1568892125 Aug 23, 2019 09:18 PM
Laura Capps to Take On Das Williams for County Supervisor

If what you say is so, then why isn't Das running for State Senate? Jackson is termed out; there is no one yet officially running for it. (When does the filing for Senate close?) He may well think the BOS is beneath him, he often acts like that, but Carpinteria is his home and with two small children he may prefer - for now - to be here. (Besides which, representing Montecito is great for fund-raising.) I recall when Williams first ran for city council, claiming/urging that he would be speaking "truth to power"---it's amazing to see how much of a pol he looks to be now: not likely he would pay any attention to someone without deep pockets attempting to speak truth to him. Capps has been strong on the school board, does not seem like a professional politician. It will be an interesting campaign.

a-1568892125 Aug 23, 2019 05:37 PM
Laura Capps to Take On Das Williams for County Supervisor

Capps’ LA Times article states that weed farms in Carpinteria are too close to children in school. OK fine. However, since Capps is running for county supervisor she should also state which specific steps she will take to remedy this situation.

Factotum Aug 23, 2019 04:50 PM
Laura Capps to Take On Das Williams for County Supervisor

Das has no right to this elected position due to his current incumbancy, so the headline could just as easily read "Das Williams takes on Laura Capps in for county supervisor. If Das even decides to run. Might be time for Das to move on to lobbying for the marijuana industry, or become a state rep for any of our public employee unions. Das earned their loyalties while he held elected office, and he knows his way around the system. Lobbying is always more lucrative and fun, than elected official grunt work.

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