Primary elections are a bit like the NBA playoffs — they don't generate nearly as much buzz as the finals. But in San Luis Obispo County, it would be a huge mistake to underestimate the importance of the upcoming June 5 primary election.
At least six county offices — including District 4 supervisor, sheriff and district attorney — will almost certainly be decided outright, since there are only two candidates competing in each race. (One caveat: There is still time for write-in candidates to register.)
Also, for the first time in recent memory, not one but two contested judicial seats are on the ballot, and on top of that, voters in the unincorporated areas will be deciding on a marijuana tax.
In other words, this is not an election you want to sit out.
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Here's a rundown of candidates:
- Congress: Salud Carbajal, D, incumbent; Justin Fareed, R, president of family business; Michael Erin Woody, R, business owner/engineer
- State Assembly: Jordan Cunningham, R, incumbent; Bill Ostrander, D, farmer/nonprofit advocate
- Superior Court judge: Hernaldo Baltodano, incumbent; Andy Cadena, deputy district attorney
- Superior Court judge: Timothy Covello, Superior Court commissioner; Ilan Funke-Bilu, defense attorney
- District attorney: Dan Dow, incumbent; Judge Mike Cummins, former prosecutor and Superior Court judge in Stanislaus County
- Sheriff-coroner: Ian Parkinson, incumbent; Gregory Clayton, private investigator and former San Luis Obispo police officer
- County assessor: Tom Bordonaro, incumbent; David Ryan Boyer, appraiser/architect
- County supervisor, District 2 (North Coast): Bruce Gibson, incumbent; Jeff Eckles, small business owner; Patrick Sparks, Realtor/broker/attorney
- County supervisor, District 4 (South County): Lynn Compton, incumbent; Jimmy Paulding, infrastructure project manager
To help you learn more about the candidates, the Latino Outreach Council is hosting a series of forums.
Good for them for providing this excellent public service. Even better, the forums will be live-streamed on public access television and videotaped, and Spanish translation services will be available.
The first forum will include candidates for sheriff and district attorney. It will be April 11 and the County Government Center, 1055 Monterey St., San Luis Obispo. A meet-and-greet starts at 5:30 p.m.; the forum follows from 6 to 8 p.m.
All four judicial candidates are scheduled to attend a forum on April 25 at the County Government Center, starting at 5:30 p.m. with a meet-and-greet followed by the forum from 6 to 8 p.m.
The Latino Outreach Council also is working to set up separate forums for the District 2 and District 4 supervisor races.
And if you aren't already registered to vote, the very last day to register is May 21.
But why wait? Put it on your "to do" list today.