Elections: Long and Morgan pitted for runoff, Jackson and Sullivan ready to rumble

March 10, 2000
Santa Paula News
Santa Paulans will be facing two elections particularly close to home with the runoff between Supervisor Kathy Long and Camarillo Councilman Mike Morgan and the State Assembly race pitting Santa Paula City Councilwoman Robin Sullivan against incumbent Hannah-Beth Jackson. The race for 3rd District Supervisor could have been decided with Tuesday’s primary election if one candidate had garnered 50 percent plus one vote but Long, who until recent troubles in county government had seemed a shoo-in, got 48.3 percent (16,581) of the vote, compared to Morgan’s 45 percent (15,447).Morgan had run against Long four years ago and lost by 8 percent; he had announced he wouldn’t run again until a merger between the county social services and mental health departments was later determined to be illegal. The controversy led to a series of audits by the state and federal governments and a $15.3 million settlement over a decade of erroneous Medicare billings. In addition, the new county CAO abruptly quit in November after less than a week on the job leaving behind a long letter criticizing county government.Long remained the top vote getter in Santa Paula where she has been high-profile and active in funneling funds for everything from a Calworks center to the Heritage Valley tourism effort. Morgan again carried the majority in Camarillo.The 3rd District is a wide-ranging one: it includes portions of Newbury Park and Ojai, the Santa Clara River Valley, Camarillo, the Lockwood Valley and La Conchita.Sullivan, a Santa Paula City Councilwoman, former Mayor and attorney, is running as a moderate Republican after being targeted for the Assembly race by state political leaders. Jackson, a Santa Barbara resident and former attorney and deputy district attorney, has served one term in office. She easily overcame her only Democratic opponent in the primary; Sullivan ran unopposed.The 35th Assembly District covers Ventura, Ojai, Santa Paula and most of Santa Barbara County; Ventura County comprises about 40 percent of the district. Overall, Jackson garnered 54.5 percent of the vote (52,974) with Sullivan getting 36.9 percent (35,797).
Measure D, the Santa Paula Elementary School District’s $10 million bond, sailed through with 79.9 percent of the vote. The bond will cost property owners $3.19 a month for each $100,000 in accessed property value. Only 846 voters said no to the measure with 3,368 approving it.Voter turnout in Ventura County was the highest it’s been since 1980, with the 54 percent turnout a full 10 percent higher than what was projected by county election officials.Prop. 22, which banned gay marriages being recognized in the state - which already does not recognize same sex unions - was heavily touted in churches and could be a cause for the higher voter turnout, according to political analysts.

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