Noozhawk | May 13, 2018
Nationally, politics is very divisive in America at present. Locally, not quite as much, because voters tend to look less at partisan purity and go more for common sense and qualifications.
Our local Auditor-Controller race has been heating up in recent months. It’s now attracted the attention of former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan. When Riordan was elected mayor, the city was in the throes of racial tension and a failing economy. He won over the people of Los Angeles with his compassionate pragmatism and ability to get things done.
Riordan has decided to get behind Jennifer Christensen for Santa Barbara County Auditor-Controller, the independent candidate in the June 5 election.
The county Auditor-Controller is responsible for monitoring the county’s billion-dollar budget and protecting the public’s financial resources. As the chief financial officer, the Auditor-Controller creates and maintains financial policies and procedures. Dealing directly with the county Board of Supervisors, the position demands financial savvy and independence.
Joining Riordan in mayoral support for Christensen are local mayors spanning the entire political spectrum and representing all corners of the county.
Former Santa Barbara mayors Helene Schneider and Sheila Lodge were among the first to back Christensen for the position of Auditor-Controller. Other past and present local mayors supporting Christensen include Bob Lingl of Lompoc, Jim Richardson of Solvang, Frances Romero and John Lizalde of Guadalupe, and Alice Patino of Santa Maria.
Former Carpinteria Mayor Mike Ledbetter praised Christensen.
“I am glad to see that Jen has bipartisan support for her run for office,” he said. “I think this is because of her demonstrated success with the county’s investments and her strong commitment to serving the public trust.”
It’s rare for independent candidates to get such widespread support, particularly from both sides of the aisle. Some political watchdogs have called for the election of more independent candidates to office to ease the gridlock of party politics.
In local races like Auditor-Controller, it actually makes more sense to support truly nonpartisan candidates because these types of office are not the place to grandstand. The county Auditor-Controller is a qualifications-based professional position, so it is natural that elected officials from all parties prefer a very qualified nonpartisan candidate like Christensen.
And she’s eminently qualified. Christensen now serves as the county’s Chief Investment Officer, managing a $1.6 billion portfolio for the county, public schools and special districts. In this capacity, she develops and executes financial and risk management strategies and is a highly regarded and proven public finance professional.
“We’re seeing people from all over the political map leap to be on Jen’s team because she’s got the financial know-how and grit it takes to manage that kind of money,” Fourth District Supervisor Peter Adam said.
“I absolutely trust her with my tax dollars.”
Adam is joined in support for Christensen by Fifth District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino and Brooks Firestone, as well as County Treasurer Harry Hagen and former County treasurers Gary Feramisco and Bernice James.
Click here for more information about the Jennifer Christensen for Santa Barbara County Auditor-Controller campaign.