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Final council, mayoral candidates listed for Solvang, Buellton

Final council, mayoral candidates listed for Solvang, Buellton

From the Election 2020: Profiles, stories from Lompoc City Council and Mayoral races series
  • Updated

Final lists of candidates have been released for Solvang and Buellton, which both have incumbents seeking re-election to mayoral and city council seats in the Nov. 3 general election.

Buellton and Solvang will have mayors and council members whose terms will expire this year, and in Solvang, voters will decide whether a councilman should be recalled and, if he is, who will take his place.

Here’s a look at those running for office in Buellton and Solvang:


Mayor Holly Sierra is seeking re-election for another two-year term in Buellton and is being challenged by Isaac Oltmans and Ed Andrisek, according to information posted on the city website by City Clerk Linda Reid.

Andrisek is a former mayor and a current councilman whose term is not expiring.

Council members Art Mercado and John Sanchez are both seeking re-election to four-year terms and are being challenged by Joseph Carter and Elysia Lewis, according to the city’s website.

Lewis also pulled nomination papers for a Buellton Union School District seat but did not file them, a Santa Barbara County Elections Office spokeswoman said.


Neither Solvang Mayor Ryan Toussaint nor council members Karen Waite and David Johnson are seeking re-election to their seats, said City Manager Xenia Bradford.

However, Waite has filed nomination papers to run for mayor, as has Charles Uhrig.

Four people have filed to run for the two four-year council seats. They are Chris Bowyer, Claudia Orona, Justin Rodriguez and Mark Infanti, Bradford said.

Solvang Councilman Niels “Chris” Djernaes still has two years left on his term, but in the Nov. 3 election he’s facing a recall instigated by citizens who, among other things, claim he disregarded the Ralph M. Brown Act — the state law requiring governments to do the public’s business in public — and violated the council’s code of ethics, as well as ignoring the will of the voters.

Djernaes has admitted to being passionate about the causes he believes in and positions he has taken but said he has represented the majority of the city’s residents and looks forward to recampaigning the platform that got him elected.

Voters will also choose who will succeed him, should the recall prove successful, but so far, only one person — Jim Thomas — has filed to assume Djernaes’ remaining two-year term, Bradford said.

However, citizens have until 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 20, to file as candidates for the recall seat.



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