Politics & Government

In district attorney race, voters have 3 candidates to choose from

Tim Covello, Dan Dow and Paul Phillips
Tim Covello, Dan Dow and Paul Phillips Tribune photos

The election of a new district attorney is now officially a three-man race.

The deadline for write-in candidates passed Tuesday, meaning no one else can enter the June 3 primary race. The three candidates are Tim Covello, Dan Dow and write-in candidate Paul Phillips.

The three attorneys are vying to succeed Gerry Shea as San Luis Obispo County’s top prosecutor.

Dow, a deputy district attorney, and Covello, currently the assistant district attorney, announced their candidacies in the fall and filed papers in time to have their names on the election ballot.

Phillips, a defense attorney, decided earlier this month to run, filing too late to get his name on the ballot. He will rely on voters to write in his name when they vote.

If one candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote on June 3, he wins the seat. Otherwise, the top two vote-getters go to a runoff in the Nov. 4 general election.

To qualify as a write-in candidate, Phillips needed 20 signatures from supporters. Those signatures include family members and attorneys including Jere Sullivan, Ginger Ortiz, Linden Mackaoui, Chris Casciola and public defender Jim Maguire.