Anderson takes sheriff’s race; Houlgate to face Maldonado

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Anderson takes sheriff’s race; Houlgate to face Maldonado By Karen White — Staff Writer 3/6/02 The man who two years ago began as a self-identified “underdog candidate” appears to have been put into office as Santa Barbara County’s new sheriff-coroner. Jim Anderson, 46, of Lompoc, a veteran sheriff’s commander, topped the 50 percent plus one vote mark, according to unofficial tallies with 100 percent of the vote in. His percentage of the vote was 50.3. “I am ecstatic,” Anderson said late Tuesday. “I hope it holds … I would love to have this over with to save time and money.” Former undersheriff Dave Dorsey finished second in the four-man race, with 28.7 percent of the vote. “I thought it would be closer,” Anderson said. Dorsey called the election “too close to call. It is going to be a while before it is decided,” he said, with the large numbers (in the 1,000s) of absentee and contested ballots still to be counted. With four men in the contest, there were predictions no winner would come out of the primary race, with the two top candidates moving on to the November election. But Anderson’s long door-to-door and person-to-person campaign appears to have bested the higher-priced advertising campaign of Dorsey. Just as the vote appears split, Anderson and Dorsey split the political sentiment of the sheriff’s department during the race. Dorsey was endorsed by retiring sheriff Jim Thomas as his hand-picked replacement, with strong support from commanders and managers in the department. Thomas retires at the end of the year. However, Anderson said Tuesday night Thomas might choose to retire early, knowing that Anderson is already in place to take over the department. Thomas allegedly has plans to run for 3rd District Supervisor from the Santa Ynez Valley, where a move is afoot to recall the present supervisor, Gail Marshall. Anderson had strong support by the rank-and-file deputies and other employees of the sheriff’s department. He said this support helped his campaign. It also helped that the Deputy Sheriff’s Association of Santa Barbara County gave Anderson’s campaign a $50,000 donation. The two other candidates, Roger Aceves and Ugo Peter “Butch” Arnoldi, could have served as a spoilers for Dorsey, drawing about 10 percent of the vote each. Aceves is a detective with the Santa Barbara Police Department, while Arnoldi is currently coastal operations station commander. All three men live on the South Coast of Santa Barbara. Staff writer Karen White can be reached at (805) 739-2217 or by e-mail at :nav Source:

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