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Former San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Mike Ryan has endorsed Etta Waterfield in her race for the Republican nomination in the open 33rd Assembly District.

Ryan was a colleague on the Board of Supervisors with one of Waterfield’s opponents, Katcho Achadjian. He did not explain why he went with Waterfield, a former Santa Maria planning commissioner, rather than Achadjian.

Voters turned out Ryan in his quest for re-election in 2004, replacing him with Jim Patterson. Ryan served eight years.

In his announcement, Ryan said, “Etta Waterfield understands small-business growth, and that’s exactly what is missing in the Legislature.”

“Etta understands that we must remove the heavy regulations and taxes that suffocate economic growth, and that’s why she adamantly opposes the liberals’ attempts to raise taxes,” Ryan wrote.

Ryan joins the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Political Action Committee, National Tax Limitation Committee President Lew Uhler, state Sen. Tony Strickland, and other Republican leaders in supporting Waterfield.

Waterfield served as coordinator of the Economic Development Commission for the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce.

She was named 2009 “Woman of the Year” for the 33rd Assembly District by Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo.

Others in the battle for the GOP nomination are Paso Robles City Councilman Fred Strong and San Luis Obispo financial planner Matt Kokkonen.

The winner will face off against the sole Democrat in the race, Santa Maria City Councilwoman Hilda Zacarias.

— Bob Cuddy

San Luis Obispo

The Vision Unida community leadership group will install officers and hold its first membership drive on Jan. 13 at 5:30 p.m. at La Palapa Restaurant at 3820 Broad St. in the Marigold Center in San Luis Obispo.

The public is welcome to attend, and the only cost is the price of dinner.

The limited menu will be Patty’s combo appetizer, Choco’s chile verde dinner, gorditas with a choice of meat or enchiladas vegetarianas. To RSVP, call 546-2633 or e-mail lduenez2@yahoo.com.

— Tribune staff

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