Santa Maria councilman drops out of state assembly race

The crowded Republican field for state assembly has grown smaller, as former Santa Maria City Councilman Marty Mariscal has dropped out.

Mariscal says he is leaving the contest because his business is suffering, which affects his family. Mariscal is an insurance broker.

“Nothing is more important to me than the happiness and well-being of my family,” Mariscal wrote in a press release. “My priority must be their welfare, and like so many, our family depends on our business.”

“My choice is clear," he wrote.

Mariscal says he is not endorsing anyone else “at the moment.”

Other declared candidates in the Republican primary are San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Katcho Achadjian, Santa Maria Planning Commissioner Etta Waterfield, and Paso Robles City Councilman Fred Strong.

The only Democrat to formally enter the race is Santa Maria City Councilwoman Hilda Zacarias.

They are vying for the right to replace Sam Blakeslee in the 33rd Assembly District. Blakeslee, the Republican leader in the Assembly, cannot run for re-election because of term limits. He is gathering funds for a run at an as yet undeclared higher office.

-Bob Cuddy