An intriguing and competitive campaign is quietly being waged over a city-based district seat on the Santa Barbara City College board, under the radar of the local Mainstream Media (Shout-out Josh and Nick!).
Longtime Das Williams aide and Democratic operative Darcel Elliott a few weeks ago launched a surprise challenge against a fellow Democrat, two-term SBCC Trustee Marsha Croninger. To Marsha's surprise, Darcel promptly captured the endorsement of the party, which in the past had backed Croninger.
The race carries echoes of the statewide and national ideological split within the Democratic Party, with self-identified progressives throwing down against more moderate incumbents they say have not been aggressive or urgent enough in pushing the political agenda to the left.
Newsmakers TV was lucky enough to snag Croninger and Elliott for a face-to-face conversation on Wednesday, a 45-minute, substantive exchange of often conflicting views on a batch of meaty issues, from housing and right-sizing SBCC enrollment to sexual harassment and transgender bathrooms. You can watch it here:
The program is the first, and perhaps the last, in-depth and detailed exchange between the two, first-rate candidates for what is formally known as Trustee Area 5.
Which is not to be confused, UFO fans, with Area 51. That's a different show on TVSB.
The district, one of seven on the SBCC board and one of three on the Nov. 6 ballot, includes the Riviera, Upper East Side, Mission Canyon and San Roque, with a portion of the Westside between Victoria, Bath and Quinto streets.
We’ll have analysis of the affair and a look at key differences between the rivals, most notably over how aggressive the college should be in working to see that housing is built for the 55 percent of students who come from outside the district -- which represents about 7,000 units.
There were no injuries.
Image: On the set of "Newsmakers TV" (L-R) Darcel Elliott; World's Oldest Man; Marsha Croninger (frame grab by J.P. Montalvo).