3rd District Elects Republican Brooks Firestone

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3rd District Elects Firestone Republican Wins Supervisor Outright, Plans to Work With Students in Isla Vista By Kristina Ackermann – Staff Writer & Caitlin Adams and Daniel Haier – Staff Writers Wednesday March 3, 2004 Daily Nexus > News > Volume 83, Issue Number 92 Brooks Firestone won the contentious 3rd District seat on the board of supervisors outright Tuesday night with 53.3 percent of the vote, besting his nearest contender, John Buttny, by just over 16 percent. Buttny, current 3rd District staff assistant, received 37.1 percent of the vote; businessman Steve Pappas received 6.4 percent and rancher Slick Gardner roped in 3 percent. Because Firestone received more than 50 percent of the vote, there will not be a runoff between him and Buttny. At the Firestone Walker Brewing Company in Buellton, Firestone addressed a crowd of several hundred supporters while an open bar kept his signature beer and wine flowing. Firestone said this was the greatest moment of his political career, which includes two terms in the California State Assembly and a failed congressional bid in 1998. He and his campaign staff said they were relieved the race was not moving to a runoff, which would mean eight more months of campaigning, and that it was time to unite the often fractious district. “I’m very excited about this,” Firestone said. “To be that bridge, that part of healing the county, at this point of the county’s history – thank you, 3rd District, for this opportunity.” After his address to the crowd of supporters, which filled a room adjacent to a warehouse where boxes of wine were stacked two stories high, Firestone said it will be up to students to decide whether the attention he pays to Isla Vista after the election will falter. “Watch me,” Firestone said. “I will be there on the campus with the Associated Students [Commission on Public Safety] meetings. I will be there when the administration wants me to represent them in Sacramento. I’ll be at basketball games; I’ll be at the parties.” Firestone said he plans to open an office in I.V. and he hopes to earn the support of voters who opposed him in this election. “I’m gonna be there because I enjoy being there,” Firestone said. “[Winning the election outright] allows me to be on the campus not as a supervisor, but as a supervisor-elect. It gives me a learning curve, a communication curve – that is a great gift.” Firestone’s son, Andrew Firestone, said he was proud of his father. “What’s so great about it is to see how humble he is up there,” Andrew Firestone said. “He knows this is an opportunity, not a right.” Andrew Firestone said he would be the first one to hold his father to the promises he makes to I.V. residents. “He knows he’s going to be judged every step of the way,” he said. Buttny held a party of his own at the Camino Real CafŽ in Goleta, although it was not the celebration he had hoped for. “The 3rd District now has a supervisor that showed up in I.V. for the first time a few weeks ago,” Buttny said. “He doesn’t have the foggiest idea what that community is about.” Buttny said the voter turnout was low because of the state recall election held in October 2003. “We did an incredible job in this campaign,” Buttny said. “It was hard to get people focused on this election because we just had one in October.” Despite his defeat, Buttny said he was not discouraged by the outcome of the election. “For me, the worst-case scenario is I get to retire,” Buttny said. Current 3rd District supervisor Gail Marshall said she was disappointed with the results but open-minded to Firestone’s abilities. “It feels like there needs to be a new advocacy in this community,” Marshall said. “I just don’t know what to expect.” Pappas held his campaign party at his home in Los Olivos, which faces the meadows of Montanaro Farm. The county had planned a housing development for the farm, which attracted Pappas to the Preservation of Los Olivos (POLO) as well as his bid for supervisor. Despite losing, Pappas said he is glad he ran and brought issues to the table that might not have been addressed by the other candidates. He said he hopes Firestone will utilize Gardner’s experience in waste management to correct current problems with waste management facilities and said it is the voters’ responsibility to make sure Firestone fulfills his campaign promises. “There’s been a lot of promises made; now we have to hold them accountable,” he said. Slick Gardner, who did not hold his own post-election gathering, showed up at Firestone’s brewery party in Buellton around 10:30 p.m. “I think it’s great that he got it done,” Gardner said. Gardner said he will continue to be involved in 3rd District politics, especially to help Firestone address environmental problems regarding the Tajiguas landfill. “I’ve always kind of been behind the scenes of this stuff; I’ve known Brooks forever,” Gardner said. “I’ll make goddamn sure these guys come to the university.” :nav Source: http://www.dailynexus.com/news/2004/6936.html

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