Campaign signs fill a corner in Watsonville.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Inside races from Assembly to Watsonville council; Lookout’s N endorsement

Mornin’, Lookout friends! It is Monday, Oct. 24, and a frosty start in some spots is forecast to give way to a sunny day around Santa Cruz County, with highs mainly in the 70s.

If you’re already warmed up and raring to check out all that’s new on Lookout, right this way.
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Politics is up first as Election Day draws ever closer, and we’re digging in this Monday on races at three different levels of government. Mark Conley has a look at Liz Lawler and Gail Pellerin, candidates for state Assembly District 28, and how they’re navigating a campaign in which a sizable chunk of the electorate is on the opposite side of the Santa Cruz Mountains from their respective home bases. And as luck would have it, Lawler and Pellerin are part of Monday night’s Lookout candidate forum at Santa Cruz’s Hotel Paradox, along with the candidates for District 4 and District 6 seats on the Santa Cruz City Council. Reserve your spot for the free forum, in person or via Zoom, by clicking here.

Mark also has a dispatch from the race for Santa Cruz County Supervisor in District 4, where Jimmy Dutra is going on the offensive in his contest against Felipe Hernandez even as he faces a civil lawsuit accusing him of sexual assault.

And while four seats on the Watsonville City Council are up for grabs on the Nov. 8 ballot, only one of those is contested — and Thomas Sawano explores where District 7 incumbent Ari Parker and challenger Nancy Bilicich stand on the key issues.

Monday’s headlines also include Lookout endorsements in the race for Santa Cruz mayor and on Measure N, those on both sides of Santa Cruz Measure O making their cases and more, so let’s get to it.

Pellerin vs. Lawler: What each Assembly District 28 candidate is learning on the ‘other side of the hill’

Assembly District 28 candidates Liz Lawler (left) and Gail Pellerin at a May forum
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

When you are a Republican campaigning in Santa Cruz or a Democrat walking some of the more conservative zones of San Jose, there are conversations that sometimes strike a different tone. Liz Lawler and Gail Pellerin are seeing it firsthand, yet each candidate says she is far more about breaking down those lines that divide as both seek a seat in Sacramento. They face off in a Lookout candidate forum Monday. Mark Conley has more.

MONDAY’S FORUM: Reserve your spot in person or via Zoom here

‘Anti-establishment’ Dutra swerves to offense: ‘I’m not going to flip-flop to win votes’

Felipe Hernandez (left) and Jimmy Dutra, candidates for 4th District Santa Cruz County Supervisor.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Embattled District 4 Santa Cruz County Supervisor candidate Jimmy Dutra didn’t shy away from highlighting what he feels are key differences between him and opponent Felipe Hernandez at a recent forum. Dutra was believed to hold a commanding lead before charges alleging he molested a 12-year-old family friend when he was 30, 17 years ago, surfaced on Oct. 5. Can he survive the political tempest? He told Lookout he believes he can. Mark talks to both candidates.

EARLIER: About ‘money, revenge’: Dutra, supporters fire back against what they say are ‘false, untrue accusations’ (Lookout)


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And that’s what I know as we kick off another workweek. There’s always more coming from Lookout, so I’d recommend you follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay current with what’s going on around Santa Cruz County — and don’t forget our other newsletters and breaking news alerts, which you can sign up for right here.

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A beautiful day lies ahead — get out there and make the most of it!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz