San Luis Obispo: Early returns show Jan Marx with slight lead in mayor race

San Luis Obispo mayoral candidate Jan Marx held the lead Tuesday, but only a small margin of votes separated her from rival Paul Brown.

Marx, a staunch supporter of sustainability and preserving open space, is known for taking a more cautious approach toward growth and development.

Brown, a former downtown business owner, garnered support from a number of local business owners, including local businesswoman Kristie Molina, owner of the Laguna Village Shopping Center, who spent nearly $12,000 in support.

Only 204 votes separated the two.

“We just have to wait and see what happens,” Brown said Tuesday after the final ballots of the night came in.

The other two mayoral candidates, student Andrew Farrell and artisan Donald Hedrick, trailed far behind.

Marx’s shift to mayor would create a vacancy on the City Council.

Applicants for the remaining two years of her four-year term will be considered by the council. Council members may also nominate individuals for the post.

A public hearing will be held in mid-December to introduce council candidates to the public. The vacancy must be filled by Dec. 31, or a special election will be required.