Achadjian wins two key GOP endorsements in assembly race

Katcho Achadjian has picked up two key endorsements in his race for Assembly — state Sen. Abel Maldonado and former Congressman Bill Thomas.

Maldonado, R-Santa Maria, said Achadjian, who is finishing his third term as a San Luis Obispo County supervisor, has “the necessary experience to tackle the tough problems facing California.”

“Katcho is not only a great supervisor,” Maldonado added in a press release, “but his efforts to bolster the Central Coast health care programs are nothing short of heroic.” He did not elaborate.

Maldonado has represented the 33rd Assembly District for 11 years in the Legislature.

Thomas, a Republican who represented Bakersfield and North County areas of San Luis Obispo County in the House of Representatives, praised what he sees as Achadjian’s fiscal astuteness.

“As county supervisor, Katcho balanced every budget while fighting to strengthen the local economy,” Thomas wrote in a press release. “Katcho has proven he can provide the kind of fiscally responsible leadership needed to help turn California around.”

Achadjian, a businessman, is a member of the California Coastal Commission and community volunteer who has given thousands of hours for a wide variety of San Luis Obispo charities. 

He is in a crowded field for the 33rd District Assembly seat, which is being vacated by Sam Blakeslee next year. Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, is finishing his third term and cannot run again because of term limits. Blakeslee has not endorsed anyone, and is gathering money for a run at a higher office, possibly the state Senate seat being vacated by Maldonado after 2012.

Achadjian’s opponents in the Republican primary include Henrietta “Etta” Waterfield, a Santa Maria planning commissioner; Paso Robles City Councilman Fred Strong; and former Santa Maria City Councilman Marty Mariscal.

The winner of that race will likely face Santa Maria City Councilwoman Hilda Zacarias, the only announced Democratic candidate.