Bob Nelson announces run for supervisor seat
Kicking off his official bid to replace his current boss as Santa Barbara County’s 4th District supervisor in 2020, Bob Nelson echoed a sentiment that’s probably on a lot of voters’ minds.
“Many of you are asking yourselves, didn’t we just finish with an election? How on earth can we be starting another one already?” Nelson said during his Feb. 16 campaign announcement in Orcutt. “You’re not crazy. California politics is, though.”
Nelson, an Orcutt resident, has served as chief of staff to current 4th District Supervisor Peter Adam for the last six years. Adam, who was first elected to the board in 2012, announced that he would not be seeking re-election in 2020 and endorsed Nelson for the position.
“I have a lot of confidence in Bob,” Adam told the Sun. “He’s been doing this for a long time, and I think this will be a very natural transition for him.”
The county’s 4th District includes Orcutt, Lompoc, the Los Alamos Valley, and portions of southern Santa Maria. Adam has long advocated for a smaller government that is less intrusive in the lives of constituents and that spends taxpayer dollars responsibly. In Nelson’s campaign kickoff speech, he struck many of the same notes.
“I believe that building a strong community comes from empowering people, not a government program,” he said.
Prior to working for Adam, Nelson worked as a coach and educator at local schools, teaching high school, middle school, and special education programs. In 2010, Nelson pivoted to service in local government when he led a committee to defeat a countywide tax initiative.
Nelson said he plans to campaign on a number of issues important to voters, including public safety and fiscal responsibility. Nelson said he hoped to continue to be a voice for 4th District constituents and to continue the work that he and Adam have been doing to help them.
“Over the past six years, I’ve picked up a lot of knowledge,” he told the Sun. “Peter has been a great mentor for me.”
Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham (R-SLO), 5th District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino, and Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino have also endorsed Nelson’s candidacy.
As of Feb. 20, no other candidates had announced their intentions to run for the open 4th District seat.
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