Election season officially opens

State and local political campaigns, which in some cases have been up and running for months, take on an official mien today as the three-and-a-half-week nomination period for elected office begins.

The nomination period for the June 5 primary runs from today to 5 p.m. March 9, according to county Clerk-Recorder Julie Rodewald. The deadline will extend to March 14 if the incumbent for a particular office does not file by March 9.

Among the contests on the ballot are U.S. senator; member of the House of Representatives; state senator; Assembly member; and county supervisor in the First, Third and Fifth districts.

Many of these races were contested long before the nominating paperwork was due.

Among the high-profile contests county voters will face:

In the 24th Congressional District, incumbent Democrat Lois Capps has said she will seek re-election. Republican Abel Maldonado officially entered the race Monday, and another Republican, Chris Mitchum of Montecito, said he will challenge Capps as well.

In the 17th State Senate District, incumbent Sam Blakeslee, a Republican, has said he won’t run, and Democrat Bill Monning, currently an assemblyman, has said he will seek the seat.

In the San Luis Obispo County supervisor races, incumbent Jim Patterson faces a challenge from Debbie Arnold in the Fifth District, and incumbent Adam Hill will square off against Pismo Beach City Councilman Ed Waage in the Third. At the moment, incumbent Frank Mecham is unopposed in the First District.

These lists, as well as those for other positions such as the parties’ central committees, will be updated daily.

Rodewald said the list of qualifications can be found in the June 5 candidates manuals on the county clerk-recorder’s website:www.slocounty.ca.gov/clerk. She encouraged anyone with questions to call her at 781-5080.