County, state and congressional candidates line up for June 3 primary

By The Tribune (San Luis Obispo, Calif.)
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

March 07--The field of candidates running in the June 3 primary has nearly taken shape.

The filing deadline for political hopefuls passed Friday for races that include incumbent candidates.

Candidates for races with no incumbent have until Wednesday to file their candidacy papers.

Here's a breakdown of the races and who is running:

County Board of Supervisors

Two seats are being contested.

In District 2, incumbent Bruce Gibson will face Cambria Community Services District Director and past President Muril Clift.

Clift, 71, a Democrat, is a retired owner and operator of a State Farm Insurance office who has taken issue with Gibson and a number of other state and county residents over infrastructure and water issues on the North Coast. He has advocated for a desalination plant in Cambria.

Gibson, 61, also a Democrat, has championed environmental and economic issues and said his priorities are creating jobs, promoting financial stability for the county and fighting sprawl. The 2nd District encompasses the coastal region from Los Osos to San Simeon.

In District 4, incumbent Caren Ray faces challenges from Nipomo businesswoman Lynn Compton and Arroyo Grande real estate broker Mike Byrd.

Ray left the Arroyo Grande City Council last year when Gov. Jerry Brown appointed her to fill a vacancy created by the death of Supervisor Paul Teixeira.

Ray, 45, a Democrat, has said her campaign will focus on three issues -- encouraging groundwater studies for the entire county, attracting head-of-household jobs and promoting the construction of workforce housing.

Compton, 50, a Republican, co-owns Valley Farm Supply and is a member of the California Cattlemen's Association, the California Farm Bureau, and the Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach and Nipomo chambers of commerce.

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Byrd, 61, is an independent and says he is a strong supporter of property rights who seeks to bring a sense of nonpartisanship back to the board.

The district covers most of South County.

State Assembly, 35th District

Incumbent state Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian faces challengers Heidi Harmon and Carl Knoll.

A Republican, Achadjian, 62, is a former San Luis Obispo County supervisor who was first elected to the Assembly in 2010 and was handily re-elected in 2012.

In a statement, Achadjian said he's pleased that California's economy appears to be on the rebound but "the state must control its spending in order to prevent another recession and avoid painful cuts."

Information on Harmon and Knoll was not available Friday.

The district includes Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Grover Beach, Guadalupe, Lompoc, Morro Bay, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria.

House of Representatives, 24th District

Three-term incumbent Lois Capps, a Democrat from Santa Barbara, faces eight challengers.

They are Chris Mitchum, 70, a self-professed Tea Party candidate from Santa Barbara who ran unsuccessfully in the 2012 primary; Alexis Stuart, 60, a Nipomo resident and a real estate broker; Dale Francisco, 60, a Republican serving his second term on the Santa Barbara City Council; Paul Coyne, 50, a Santa Maria resident and the only Democrat to challenge Capps; Justin Fareed, 25, a Republican and a former congressional aide for Congressman Ed Whitefield of Kentucky; Bradley Allen, a Republican; Sandra Marshall (no further information was available Friday); and Steve Isakson, 62, a chief engineer at Rantec Power Systems in Los Osos and owner of a small consulting firm. Isakson is registered without stating a party affiliation.

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The district covers parts of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, as well as a portion of Ventura County.

County superintendent of schools

So far, only Cayucos Elementary School District Superintendent Jim Brescia, 49, has filed papers to succeed Julian Crocker as superintendent.

Crocker is not running for re-election, so the filing period remains open through Wednesday.

The county Office of Education provides outreach and resources to the county's 10 public school districts, which together serve about 34,600 students.

County district attorney

Incumbent Gerry Shea has opted not to seek re-election, so the filing deadline for the county's top prosecutor has been extended to Wednesday.

The current candidates are Tim Covello, 52, and Dan Dow, 43. Covello is the assistant district attorney, which makes him second in command at the office, while Dow is a deputy district attorney.

County clerk-recorder

Longtime incumbent Julie Rodewald announced in January that she would not seek re-election, which extends the filing deadline to Wednesday.

The race to succeed Rodewald includes her second-in-command Tommy Gong, Deputy Clerk-Recorder Amanda King, and Caltrans Business Management District Chief Ann Danko.

Incumbents without challengers

Three elected county officials have essentially won re-election already because no challengers stepped forward by Friday's filing deadline.

They are Sheriff Ian Parkinson, 48; Assessor Tom Bordonaro Jr., 55; and Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector-Public Administrator Jim Erb, 61.

Superior Court judges

Five judges are up for reelection, and none faces challengers this year. The uncontested judges are Rita Federman, 51; Ginger Garrett, 61; Jac Crawford, 66; Martin Tangeman, 60; and John Trice 61.

Staff Writers Matt Fountain, Cynthia Lambert, Patrick Pemberton, and David Sneed contributed to this article.

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