|Alice Patino (I)||12,936 | 67%|
|William Smith||3,295 |17%|
|Alberto Ugalde||3,175 | 16%|
Alice Patino is on her way to a third term as Santa Maria mayor. With 100% of precincts reporting, Patino has received nearly four times as many votes as her competitors. She earned 12,936 votes votes while her two challengers each received over 3,000 votes.
"I would just like to say a huge thank you," Patino said on election night.
She reflected on the unique nature of running for office during a pandemic and the limitations it put on the usual face to face interactions with voters.
"It's been really difficult this time when you're campaigning," Patino said. "And of course I am a mayor every single day of the week and my constituents are all the people in Santa Maria. I'm just really pleased that that many people said yes we want you to continue, we want you to go on for another term."
Former educator Will Smith finished second with 3,295 votes. He also ran in 2016, finishing well behind Patino. Smith said he ran to, "Bring unity and harmonize the community."
Local business owner Alberto Ugalde ran for the first time and earned 3,175 votes. The 30-year-old said he expects to run for office again. Before the vote came in, the young barber told us he felt he already won because, "I got people to go to register," Ugalde said. "I got people to vote again that haven't voted in a while, and I got young kids to register and go and vote."
Patino was first elected mayor in 2012 after serving for 12 years as a city council member. The mayor is elected to four year terms and there are no term limits. Patino grew up in Santa Maria and was formerly a teacher before getting involved with city government.
Patino says she is focused on helping restart the economy as it recovers from the pandemic. She wants to partner with colleges to find ways to bring more well paying careers to the area. She serves on the Governor's Housing Task Force and wants to continue working to accommodate growth in Santa Maria.