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Tuesday November 2, 2021 — Local Elections
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City of Santa BarbaraCandidate for Mayor

Photo of Mark Whitehurst

Mark Whitehurst

Publisher, Business Owner, and Community Leader
311 votes (1.6%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Become a safe, green, and clean community.
  • Promote Santa Barbara's Art, Culture, Architecture, and Environment as economic engines.
  • Develop a housing plan that provides beds for psychiatric care, transient housing, and workforce housing.



Profession:Publisher, Business Owner, and Community Leader
Owner, Publisher/Editor, VOICE Magazine / CASA Magazine (1993–current)


Graceland University Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Education (current)
Pacifica Graduate Institute Masters of Arts, and Doctor of Philosophy, Mythology (current)
Park University Two years graduate work, Public Policy (current)
Santa Barbara School of Law Two years graduate work, Law (current)
UCSB Certificate in Mediation, Mediation (current)


“You can call me Mark…” It’s possible we played in the Santa Barbara City College Orchestra together or you exhibited your paintings and art at CASA Gallery during a 1st Thursday. Or, you may have served on a board or a committee with me during the last 27 years I’ve lived in Santa Barbara…

Maybe we went to graduate school together or you worked with me when you wanted to advertise in my weekly magazine — VOICE, aka Casa. As publisher, I’ve been immersed in the needs and challenges facing our community and have become in sync with the pulse of the city and its people.

Over the years I have been a member of some of this community’s most active organizations and a sponsor of many others. I was president and treasurer of the Downtown Organization and Santa Barbara Beautiful. And I serve on the PARC Foundation which oversees the Douglas Preserve and raised funds for the Cabrillo Pavilion.

I have a love for Santa Barbara that moves me to address the needs of our community.  With the urging and encouragement of numerous people over several years, I eventually decided to run for mayor of Santa Barbara.  

Collaboration and strong relationship building skills will be needed to address our community’s challenges, restore its economic vitality, and burnish Santa Barbara’s world class image after 18 months of pandemic.

I see Santa Barbara as a clean, green, safe, and inspiring place to live.


A down to earth midwesterner by birth, Mark Whitehurst grew up in Des Moines, Iowa, graduated from Graceland University, and then flew to Australia to teach. He returned to the States to work on the team of his brother’s newspaper in Oregon (and teach on the side!) That opportunity turned into a passion for community building via local newspapers. 

Mark relocated to Santa Barbara 27 years ago. During those years he has supported the arts and arts education, the non-profit community, and served on several non-profit boards. In addition to being Publisher and Editor of VOICE Magazine (AKA CASA) he has enjoyed being a SBCC Continuing Education Instructor.

Mark’s professional and community work have been recognized with several awards, including: General Excellence Award from Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association; Man of the Year from the Sutherlin Chamber of Commerce; Leadership in the Arts Award, with co-recipient Kerry Methner, from the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission, 2010; Citizen of the Year Award presented by the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization to CASA Magazine for being instrumental in creating and supporting the 1st Thursday monthly arts night program, 2007; Business and Art Award presented by the City of Santa Barbara Visual Art in Public Places to CASA Magazine, 2005, and the inaugeral Chancellor’s Award for Community Service from Pacifica Graduate Institute.

Mark’s family is important to him. He has been married to Kerry Methner for 22 years and he enjoys a close relationship with his brother, John Whitehurst. Mark has one son and two grandchildren, and a large extended family.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Community building is at the heart of my interest in politics and is the foundation of my political philosophy. 

I love Santa Barbara and I want to help our community burnish the beauty for which it is recognized around the world. 

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