The June primary is history, but take a deep breath, voters, because were in for more fierce campaigns leading up to November. Before we move on, though, lets look back at Tuesdays returns:
Most decisive win:
Locally, only one outright winner 2nd district Supervisor Bruce Gibson emerged Tuesday. The outcome was no surprise; with only two candidates on the ballot, there was no chance of it going to November. But it was good to see Gibson who captured nearly 70 percent of the vote receive such a strong vote of confidence. Hes been hardworking, responsive and reasonable in his first four years on the board. The countys going to need more of the same in the tough years ahead.
Measure A-10, the $6 million bond that would have funded a much-needed new police station in Arroyo Grande. While some absentee votes have yet to be counted, so far it looks like the measure will fail to win the requisite two-thirds majority by the narrowest of margins. We urge the city of Arroyo Grande to try again.
Biggest game changer:
Proposition 14 will radically alter the way we elect many public officials in California. Instead of a partisan primary system, voters will be able to select any candidate, regardless of party. The top two vote-getters will move on to the run-off election, which means theres a potential for two candidates from the same party to appear on the final ballot. This could theoretically mean that more centrist candidates will be elected, and that could help end the partisan deadlock in Sacramento. Lets see if it works.
Abel Maldonado. Not only did he easily capture the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor, the open primary measure that he championed Proposition 14 won handily as well.
In the race for 4th District supervisor, neither of the current public officials Lucia Mar school trustee Paul Teixeira and Arroyo Grande City Councilman Jim Guthrie came out on top. South County attorney Mike Zimmerman, who ran a relatively low-key campaign, was the biggest vote getter and will face Teixeira in November.
Biggest question mark:
Why oh why does the city of Morro Bay feel compelled to hold a primary election? It had absolutely no effect on the City Council race. There were four candidates on the June ballot and, because no one secured 50 percent or more of the vote, there will be four candidates in November. The race for mayor was narrowed to two candidates from the original four, but was that really worth all the time, trouble and expense of two campaigns?
Moderate Republican Katcho Achadjian won the state Assembly primary, which should put a merciful end to the mirror-mirror-on-the-wall-whos-the-most-conservative-candidate-of-all sniping between Matt Kokkonen and Etta Waterfield.
We welcome a run-off election between sheriffs candidates Ian Parkinson and Joe Cortez, who will most likely emerge on top once all the absentee ballots are counted. We found them to be the two strongest contenders in a field of exceptionally qualified candidates. But can the campaign focus, please, on the issues, and not on whether Parkinson asked someone else to proofread his essays for a job application in 2001 or any other tangential matters?
Most satisfying loss:
Proposition 16, the Pacific Gas and Electric Co.-financed measure that would have raised the bar unreasonably high for municipalities interested in providing electrical service. This was a shameless ploy to oust would-be competition. Lets hope PG&E flips the switch on this effort.