Raised in the area, Bob Nelson understands the needs of Northern Santa Barbara County.
At the age of 5, Bob and his family moved to Orcutt, where his father worked as a minister and his mother worked for the county. After his father’s passing, Bob quickly learned to shoulder responsibility and found ways to help his family, and has since used his work ethic to serve the region — first, as a teacher and coach, and later as a public servant and current Supervisor for the County of Santa Barbara.
He attended Ernest Righetti High School, becoming a decorated swimmer and water polo captain, student representative to the school board, and writer for the school paper. This is also where he met his wife, Jamie, who is a fifth-generation resident of the Santa Maria Valley.
Bob left the community for a short time to earn a degree in Business Administration from Vanguard University and simultaneously founded a real estate management company in Southern California, which permitted him to afford the cost of his education and housing.
After graduation, Bob returned to Santa Maria in pursuit of his passion — serving the community in which he has always called home. Starting as a teacher and youth mentor, he taught high school, middle school, and special education programs. In 2003, he was awarded Teacher of the Year by the Santa Maria Sun. Bob later became the Manager of the Business Department at Pioneer Valley High School and the Chair of the District’s Technology Committee.
Following his time in teaching, Bob re-focused his attention to local government, becoming the Chief of Staff for former Supervisor Peter Adam in 2012, a capacity in which he served for eight years prior to running his own race for Supervisor, where he ran unopposed and was elected in 2020.
As Supervisor, Bob serves on a number of boards and commissions, and over the last four years he has been focused on: enhancing public safety, ensuring government accountability, protecting rights for taxpayers and property owners, and improving educational and recreational opportunities.
Bob Nelson lives in Orcutt with his wife, Jamie and their family.