SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - We continue our in-depth look at the candidates on the upcoming June Election. The Santa Barbara County Clerk, Assessor, Recorders race pits incumbent Joe Holland against challenger Elrawd MacLearn.
We gave both men the opportunity to talk on camera and answer seven questions. Holland declined to appear on camera and answered the questions via email instead.
We met Elrawd MacLearn and his supporters at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. MacLearn, a health inspector and Goleta Planning Commissioner, explained why he's running for office.
"Because of the lack of transparency, the lack of integrity in the office. And also, I want to restore trust and faith in the elections process that's why I'm running for office," said MacLearn.
Joe Holland, who's been Director since 2003, wrote this in response to why he's running for office, "I enjoy providing improved public services. Over the years we have made tremendous improvements across each three divisions of the department, Clerk/Recorder, Assessor and County Elections."
What makes you qualified for the job?
"Having knowledge doesn't make you the best suited for the job. Knowledge is easily gained and integrity is tempered through difficulty and I would say I have that integrity because I'm someone who has done what is necessary in the face of difficulties and face of struggles," said MacLearn.
"I have the on the job experience over many years leading all three divisions of the department. I am also an Advanced Certified Appraiser, and a licensed Real Estate Broker, each with the State of California. I have been a board member with the California Association of Clerks and Elections Officials since 2005 and served as President of the Association from July 2018 to 2020," wrote Holland in his emailed response.
We also wanted to know what the candidates two main priorities will be if they win?
"Priority number one, I would say is, we need to have faith restored in our election process. Secondly, to ensure that the government and the operations are very transparent to the public. I think a lot of the questions and concerns are because there is no response," said MacLearn.
Holland's written response, "My highest priority is to maintain the trust and confidence of Santa Barbara County citizens that the services provided by this department are not only provided efficiently and effectively, but are also provided in a manner of free politics."
You can see this story tonight on News Channel 3-12 and read the expanded answers in their entirety and additional questions for both candidates under the election tab as well.
For the full interview with candidate Elrawd MacLearn, play the YouTube video below.
Candidate Joseph E. Holland declined an on-camera interview, so for his written responses, click here.