Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Bill Brown is Sheriff

Sheriff's Council Backlash? Brown beats one-term Sheriff Jim Anderson by a good margin...when was the last time we had a one-term Sheriff?

BILL BROWN 45699 53.16%
JIM ANDERSON 40036 46.57%


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brown's a great man and will provide a breath of fresh air in his leadership of the Sheriff's Department. The people of the County will benefit greatly.

11/07/2006 11:43 PM  
Anonymous getthefacts said...

Congratulations to Sheriff Brown. The DSA and all the Sheriff's employees will be happy with the new Sheriff if they give him a chance...dump the partisan rhetoric and actually call the guy up, talk to him, get to know him. All the negative crap I have read on this blog is pretty amazing. If a Sheriff's employee (anonymous) actually wrote some of the negative comments I have read, I can see why there are problems in the Department. Cops are supposed to be unbaised fact finders who actually seek the truth and not simply further their own politcal your homework and you will find you have a great new Sheriff.

11/08/2006 12:30 AM  
Blogger Hattie Caraway said...

No real surprise. Whenever an incumbent is forced into a run-off, the incumbent is in deep trouble. Couple that with Brown's exceptional qualifications and support from law enforcement leaders throughout the state and the result was pretty foreordained. I think Brown will be a great Sheriff. The agency will finally be able to get beyond the Thomas-Anderson factions because under Brown everyone will start with a clean slate.

11/08/2006 1:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brown worked hard, and kept his campaign clean. A cool fresh breeze will be blowing through the Sheriff's Department come January and the pettiness and lack of leadership of Anderson will become a faded memory.

11/08/2006 1:19 AM  
Anonymous Valerio said...

Brown did even better than predicted for a 5% margin.

Anderson was resented far more than people wanted to admit.

Why the Superivsors endorsed him waa embarassing.

11/08/2006 1:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best man for the job won.

I don't believe there has ever been an incumbent Sheriff beaten in Santa Barbara County.

Jim Anderson made a series of poor decisions which he blamed on politics or other individuals. The voters obviously didn't buy it.

11/08/2006 5:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anderson is almost 6,000 votes behind and still won't concede? What a joke - and he probably wonders why he wasn't re-elected. Give me a break! It's embarassing.

11/08/2006 5:35 PM  
Anonymous dd said...

Article in the Santa Maria Times on the breakdown of the Sheriff's race -South Coast votes Brown - North County votes Anderson. dd

South County support gave Brown victory
By Chuck Schultz/Senior Staff Writer

Lompoc Police Chief Bill Brown's strong appeal to South Coast voters, especially in the liberal strongholds of Santa Barbara, Isla Vista and UCSB, enabled him to make election history Tuesday by being the first person to defeat an incumbent Santa Barbara County sheriff in more than a century.

Sheriff Jim Anderson, a four-year incumbent who insists he's done an “excellent job” - and who was predicting victory even when election night results indicated otherwise - might have been right if it were only a North County race.


He won all but a handful of the dozens of precincts in the Santa Maria, Orcutt, Sisquoc and Cuyama areas, and made a strong showing in the Santa Ynez Valley.

In and around Lompoc, where he lives, Anderson also won several precincts, but not nearly enough to overcome Brown's edge in popularity as the police chief there.

South of the Santa Ynez Mountains, however, the sheriff's showing was more anemic, according to precinct-by-precinct totals released Wednesday by the county elections office.

Anderson won only a few precincts in and around Santa Barbara, where nearly two-thirds of voters marked their ballots for Brown. Anderson also struggled in Montecito, winning only a couple of precincts there, but did somewhat better in Carpinteria, where he won four of 10 precincts - albeit one of those by only 6 votes.

He lost nearly all precincts in Goleta, although by smaller percentages than in Santa Barbara.

In Isla Vista and UCSB, where both candidates made several appearances in recent days, Brown walloped the incumbent by a more than 2-to-1 margin. Of 2,772 votes so far counted from the campus and adjacent college community, Brown has garnered 68.5 percent and Anderson 31.5 percent.

To put that in perspective, though, all those university-area votes amount to only 3 percent of the more than 86,000 ballots so far counted countywide in the sheriff's race.

Election officials said Wednesday that about 24,000 absentee ballots that arrived too late to be counted Tuesday will be tallied over the next several days. Also, about 3,000 “provisional ballots” cast by voters whose eligibility was uncertain will be verified and tallied next week, said county Clerk-Recorder-Asessor Joe Holland.

Brown has taken about 53 percent of votes so far, compared to about 47 percent for Brown.

It would take a minor miracle for the yet-to-be-counted ballots to change the outcome. To overcome Brown's current lead of 5,579 votes, Anderson would have to get about 16,000 more votes - 60 percent of those remaining.

So, it seems an incumbent sheriff has lost at the polls here for the first time since the late 19th Century, said Michael Redmon, director of research for the Santa Barbara Historical Society. Its records show incumbent Sheriff Arza Porter losing to challenger Nicholas Covarrubias in 1871.

After a succession of other sheriffs, Nat Stewart was elected to the post in 1898, but records are unclear on whether he did so by beating the man who would have been the incumbent then, Thomas Hicks, Redmon said.

In any case, Stewart apparently kept the job until he died in 1917, at which point the county Board of Supervisors appointed Santa Barbara Police Chief James Ross to serve the remainder of Stewart's term. Ross was sheriff until 1946, when he retired and was succeeded by his son, John D. Ross, who kept the post until retiring in 1962.

That year James Webster, a cousin of the younger Ross, was elected. He was in office until he stepped down in 1971 and John Carpenter was elected sheriff.

Carpenter was never successfully challenged for re-election, nor was his successor, Jim Thomas, who retired and then ran unsuccessfully against Anderson in the June primary.

Anderson could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Brown said he focused his campaign on the South Coast to build name recognition there.

“I figured that was where the race was going to be won,” he said Wednesday. “I focused, particularly in the last week of the campaign, on UCSB and Isla Vista.”

He said Anderson apparently spent a lot more time campaigning in the North County, with its more conservative voters.

“My base is more moderate, and progressives are more likely to embrace my agenda than his,” Brown claimed.

“I knew it was going to be difficult taking on an incumbent sheriff,” he added. “I think some of the negative press” Anderson received over the past year, stemming mostly from infighting that dissolved the fundraising Sheriff's Council, made the incumbent vulnerable to defeat.

“Jail overcrowding was also a major issue, because he

hadn't made any significant progress in solving it,” noted Brown.

At forums and other public appearances - as well as in television ads and campaign mailers - the challenger suggested that public safety was being endangered by the early release of 6,000 jail inmates since Anderson became sheriff. Anderson contended that those releases were necessitated by a court order to reduce overcrowding.

The mostly north-south split in voting for Anderson and Brown “was anticipated,” Anderson's campaign manager, Richard Cochrane, said late Wednesday afternoon.

“Unfortunately, we have reason to believe that many South Coast voters were denied critical information” about Anderson's endorsements by liberal politicians including Santa Barbara Mayor Marty Blum and county supervisors Salud Carbajal and Susan Rose, Cochrane added, though he declined to elaborate.

He suggested that Anderson's poor showing in Isla Vista and at UCSB may stem from Halloween weekend arrests by sheriff's deputies of hundreds of partyers in Isla Vista.

“I would imagine that would affect student attitudes” about which sheriff's candidate to vote for, Cochrane said.

11/09/2006 7:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope the Sheriff's Council will toss away their tin badges and realize that "rich man's folly" cost Anderson his job. Brown seems like a good man...and very accessible and hopefully will NEVER pass out privilege to the wealthy!

11/09/2006 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’ll remain cautiously optimistic about Brown. I posted several pro-Anderson bits here and there, so I’ll remain guarded. I do worry about Edgecomb having undue influence, since he financed a good portion of the campaign. Time will tell.

11/10/2006 5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There were some very shady things going on in the Sheriff's Council and why didn't our Sheriff Andersen be the first one to call for an investigation? It was not the Council problems that took him down but aligning with the an accused embezzler and not calling for an investigation to either clear her or find out the truth.

11/26/2006 11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brown left Lompok just in time, the city just had a big $$$ law suit filed as a result of his "executive leadership." He's named #1 and Captain PAW Williams is #2.

1/12/2007 8:25 PM  

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