U.S. Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, was headed to re-election Tuesday in the 23rd District, apparently defeating Republican Tom Watson, Libertarian Darrell Stafford and Independent John Hager.
With 11 percent of the vote in, Capps had 52 percent of the vote to Watson’s 43. Hager and Stafford split the remainder.
Capps, first elected in 1998 to replace her late husband, Walter Capps, ran on her record as an environmentalist and health care advocate. She is a former nurse and worked hard on President Barack Obama’s health care reform bill.
In a supposedly anti-incumbent year, Capps appeared to prevail in a district that pays attention to its coastline.
She has backed legislation to ban oil drilling off the California coast and she supports most environmental legislation.
Capps has been a solid backer of Obama’s platform.