Elections

SLO County elections 2016: Who’s running in your city?

A San Luis Obispo County election worker reaches for a mailed-in ballot while reviewing envelopes for signatures and other information June 5. With a significant deadline finally past, the candidate list is almost set for most November city council and mayoral races across San Luis Obispo County.
A San Luis Obispo County election worker reaches for a mailed-in ballot while reviewing envelopes for signatures and other information June 5. With a significant deadline finally past, the candidate list is almost set for most November city council and mayoral races across San Luis Obispo County. lholden@thetribunenews.com

With a significant deadline finally past, the candidate list is almost set for most November city council and mayoral races across San Luis Obispo County.

The deadline to file candidate paperwork declaring an intention to run for political office in the Nov. 8 general election was Friday, though most cities have an extended deadline of Wednesday for either mayor or city council because some incumbents aren’t seeking re-election.

Here’s a look at who is running in your city:

Arroyo Grande

The race to govern Arroyo Grande is among the most competitive this year, with seven candidates filing their nomination paperwork with the city as of Friday.

Two candidates are running for mayor: incumbent Jim Hill and retired teacher Richard Waller.

Five candidates are running for two City Council seats so far: incumbent Kristen Barneich, newcomer LeAnn Akins, Planning Commissioner John Mack, former county Supervisor Caren Ray and Traffic Commissioner Ken Sage.

Because incumbent Councilman Jim Guthrie is not running for re-election, the deadline for candidates to file their applications for City Council has been extended to Wednesday.

Atascadero

Following the announcement this week that two-term Councilman Bob Kelley will not seek re-election, the filing deadline to run for Atascadero City Council has been extended to Wednesday.

As of Friday, four candidates had filed papers to run for the two available council seats. Incumbent Councilwoman Roberta Fonzi is running for a second term. Also on the ballot so far are Planning Commissioner Charles Bourbeau, businessman Bret Heinemann and newcomer Daniel Eister.

Tom O’Malley is running for a third term as mayor, and he is being challenged by businesswoman Ann Ketcherside, who unsuccessfully ran for the City Council in 2012.

Grover Beach

Mayor John Shoals is running for re-election and faces competition from former mayor and Councilman Ronald Arnoldsen.

Only one candidate has filed paperwork to run for the two open City Council seats.

Councilman Jeff Lee announced last month that he would seek re-election for his seat and is so far the only person to file nomination paperwork with the city for one of the two open seats. Councilwoman Karen Bright reaches her term limit this year and can’t run, which automatically extends the deadline for candidates to file their paperwork to Wednesday.

As of Friday afternoon, one additional resident had expressed an interest in the seat with the city but had not submitted the required nomination paperwork, said Donna McMahon, Grover Beach city clerk.

If another candidate does not step forward for the open City Council seat, the council could appoint a nominee.

Morro Bay

Morro Bay’s mayoral race looks to be one of the most competitive in the county, following Friday’s filing deadline.

Three candidates filed paperwork to run for mayor: incumbent Jamie Irons, former Councilwoman Betty Winholtz and Tina Metzger.

The deadline to apply for the two available City Council seats has been extended to Wednesday because incumbent Noah Smukler has said he will not run for re-election. By Friday afternoon, incumbent Councilwoman Christine Johnson also hadn’t filed. Two people had submitted their paperwork for the two seats: Robert “Red” Davis and Richard E.T. Sadowski.

Paso Robles

Two seats on the Paso Robles City Council are open, with three declared candidates running for those seats by the Friday filing deadline.

Incumbents Steve Gregory and Fred Strong are both running for re-election, as well as one-time Pismo Beach mayoral candidate Kevin Kreowski.

Pismo Beach

In Pismo Beach, the deadline to file candidacy papers for mayor and two available City Council seats is extended until Wednesday because not all incumbents are running for re-election.

Mayor Shelly Higginbotham announced early this year that she would not be seeking re-election after 14 years with the city. So far, Councilman Ed Waage is the sole candidate to file paperwork for the mayoral seat.

Incumbent Councilman Erik Howell and former county Planning Commissioner Sandra Gore Nielsen have filed their statements declaring their intent to run for the two open council seats so far. Five more potential council candidates have been issued nomination paperwork, but as of Friday, the paperwork hadn’t been turned in.

San Luis Obispo

As of Friday afternoon, San Luis Obispo had the most candidates running for public office, with nine people submitting paperwork announcing their campaigns.

Three people are running for mayor: incumbent Jan Marx, former Assembly candidate Heidi Harmon and frequent mayoral candidate Don Hedrick. The deadline to apply for mayor closed Friday because the incumbent is running.

Six candidates so far have pulled papers for the two City Council seats. The deadline to file candidacy papers has been extended to Wednesday because Councilman John Ashbaugh has reached his term limit, and incumbent Dan Carpenter is running for 3rd District county supervisor.

The six council candidates, so far, are Michael Clark, Aaron Gomez, Christopher Lopez, Andy Pease, Brett Strickland and Mila Vujovich-La Barre.

At a glance:

Deadline Passed:

  • Arroyo Grande Mayor
  • Atascadero Mayor
  • Grover Beach Mayor
  • Morro Bay Mayor
  • Paso Robles City Council
  • San Luis Obispo Mayor

Deadline Pending:

  • Arroyo Grande City Council
  • Atascadero City Council
  • Grover Beach City Council
  • Morro Bay City Council
  • Pismo Beach City Council
  • Pismo Beach Mayor
  • San Luis Obispo City Council
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