San Luis Obispo
Half a dozen San Luis Obispo school board members and a former long-term superintendent of schools have endorsed John Laird for state senate.
Walter Millar, president of the San Luis Coastal Unified School District board, endorsed Laird on Wednesday, as did Kathryn Eisendrath-Rogers, Mark Buchman and Marilyn Rodger.
School board members Ellen Sheffer and Chris Ungar, along with former superintendent Ed Valentine, endorsed Laird earlier.
Laird, a Democrat, is running in the Aug. 17 special election to fill the 15th state Senate District seat vacated by Abel Maldonado, who resigned to become lieutenant governor.
His opponents are Republican Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee, Libertarian Mark Hinkle and Jim Fitzgerald of Nipomo, an independent who belongs to no political party.
The endorsements came during a news conference at which Laird called for an end to cuts in spending for schools.
They also followed a resolution passed by the local school board that said “our local legislative representatives have failed the children of the State of California,” and charged that “no local legislator has adequately supported legislative proposals for K-12 education.”
— Bob Cuddy
Pat Harris was sworn in July 14 as the new chair of the county Democratic Central Committee.
Other new officers include Cory Black, male vice-chair; Susan Devine, female vice-chair; Richard Zamora, recording secretary; Andrea Devitt, corresponding secretary; Marilyn Armstrong, treasurer; Susan Stenovec, assistant treasurer; and Cheryl Conway, representative to the California Democratic Party executive board.
The committee’s mission is to support and elect Democratic candidates and to promote Democratic values and principles in San Luis Obispo County.
Harris said the group and its members will be working “with new enthusiasm” on statewide campaigns for the U.S. Senate and governor this fall.
The group’s headquarters are at 1406 Broad St. in San Luis Obispo. For more information, call 546-8499.
— Bob Cuddy
County sheriff candidates Joe Cortez and Ian Parkinson are expected to discuss why they think they are best suited for the job at an Aug. 18 luncheon hosted by the Arroyo Grande Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber is holding the luncheon in cooperation with the Grover Beach and Pismo Beach chambers of commerce. It will start at noon at the South County Regional Center at 800 W. Branch St. in Arroyo Grande.
Questions for the candidates, who will face each other in a runoff in the Nov. 2 election, can be submitted by audience members.
The luncheon is $18 for members of the three chambers and $25 for nonmembers. Advanced reservations are required and can be made by calling 489-1488 by Aug. 13. Arroyo Grande chamber members can register online at www.agchamber.com.
— Cynthia Lambert