The races are set for the Nov. 6 General Election, and while local city council races have lots of candidates, numerous school board positions will be won in walkovers, as no challengers threw their hats into the ring.
Here’s a rundown on the various local races, with the occupation of candidates listed as they will appear on the ballot:
Councilwoman and educator Caren Ray will challenge incumbent Mayor and engineer, Jim Hill.
In the A.G. City Council race, with two seats up for grabs, five people have stepped forward to run, with Coleen Kubel a contractor and Architectural Review Commission member; John Mack a planner and member of the City Planning Commission; Jimmy Paulding a project manager who ran unsuccessfully for County Supervisor in June; Terry Fowler-Payne a retired project coordinator; and Keith Alan Stornton a retired SLO police captain, vying for the seats.
In the Lucia Mar School District, which encompasses the entire Five Cities area and Nipomo, there are four seats on the board up for grabs, but only two will be contested.
In Trustee Area 1, Michael Sullivan, a clinical laboratory scientist, Chad Robertson the incumbent, and Stacy Meko, a wine industry consultant are running and voters will pick two for the board.
In Trustee Area 2, incumbent Colleen Martin was unopposed and will get a walkover, but in Trustee Area 3, incumbent Vern Dahl is being challenged by community volunteer Andrea Vergne. All of these position carry 4-year terms.
Three seats on the Avila Beach Community Services District are open and all three incumbents — Lynn Helenius, Pete Kelley and appointed incumbent Ara Najarian — were unopposed and will automatically get new 4-year terms.
But in one other ABCSD race, no one came forth and that seat will have to be filled by appointment of the board.
And in the Port San Luis Harbor District, two incumbents — Drew Brandy and Mary Matakovich — were unopposed as well.
With two seats open on the Coast Unified School District, incumbent Del Clegg, Jr., and Lee McFarland will both get a walkover, as they were unopposed.
In the Cambria CSD, two seats are open but only one will be contested. Retired data base administrator, Donn Howell, naturopathic practitioner, Dennis Perry, retired business manager, Cindy Steidel and appointed incumbent, Aaron Wharton, will vie for one seat, while appointed incumbent David Pierson was not opposed for the other seat.
Four people are vying for three seats on the Cambria Community Healthcare District. They are: retired aerospace engineer, Iggy Fedoroff, healthcare professional, Laurie Mileur, retired fire chief, Robert “Bob” Putney, and Bill Rice, a retired healthcare CFO.
Francie Farinet, an appointed incumbent, will retain her Cayucos Fire District seat, as no one stepped forward to oppose her.
It goes for the Cayucos Sanitary District, as Shirley Lyon and Dan Chivens were unopposed for new 4-year terms.
Four people are vying for three seats on the Cayucos Elementary School District Board, they are: Frederick Michael Beverley, a chief operating officer, businessman Chris Castillo, appointed incumbent Steve Gail, and educator and parent Peter J. Schuler. Winners get a 4-year term.
Three people are vying for Mayor, a 2-year term, with incumbent Councilwoman, Debbie Peterson, court reporter, Elizabeth “Liz” Doukas and Councilman Jeff Lee running to replace Mayor John Shoals.
The City Council race has two seats up and three people running, with electrical contractor, Robert Robert challenging two incumbents, Barbara Nichols, and Mariam Smith.
The Los Osos CSD has two seats open but only one will be contested. In one race voters will cast two votes out of a field of four as incumbent Chuck Cesena is running against professor and former LOCSD director Craig Baltimore, geothermal energy engineer Stephen M Best, and civil engineer Matthew D. Fourcroy.
In the other open seat, and carrying just a 2-year term, Chris Womack who was appointed to the seat earlier this year, was unopposed and will continue on the board through 2020, when her abbreviated term expires.
Morro Bay’s Mayor race will feature incumbent councilman and local pharmacist John Headding, against business owner, John Weiss, for the Mayor’s 2-year term, after 3-term Mayor Jamie Irons decided not to run.
In the Council race, with two seats open, there are five people running. They are: school teacher Dawn Addis; SLO County plans examiner and City Planning Commissioner, Jesse Barron; current Citizen of the Year and a volunteer at the City Visitor’s Center, Jan Goldman; self-employed educator and former 2-term Councilwoman, Betty Winholtz; and retired construction manager, Jeff Heller, vying to replace Headding (running for Mayor) and Councilman Matt Makowetski, who decided not to run for re-election.
Three seats on the Nipomo CSD are open and three candidates will get a walkover win. NCSD directors Ed Eby, Dan Allen Gaddis and Dan Woodson will continue on the board for 4 more years.
In the Oceano CSD race, three seats are open and none were contested as incumbents Karen M. White and Cynthia Replogle, who was appointed to the board, and homecare provider, Allene Villa were all unopposed.
There won’t be a local election in Pismo Beach, as Ed Waage will get another 2-year term as Mayor after no one signed up to run against him, and with two council seats up, there were only two people who signed up to run, and so both will get a walkover, they are: incumbent Sheila Blake a retired airline supervisor, and businesswoman and incumbent Councilwoman, Mary Ann Reiss.
San Luis Obispo
First term Mayor Heidi Harmon is being challenged by planner, urban designer and former Councilman, T. Keith Burnee, and Donald Hedrick an “artisan and whale maker” who has run for Mayor several times in the past
Seven are vying for two Council seats, with incumbent Carlyn Christianson running against homemaker Sarah Flickinger, non-profit executive director Abe Lincoln, retired County planner, James Lopes, entrepreneur Jeffery Specht, administrator Erica Stewart, and community volunteer Robert “Bob” Voglin.
The San Luis Coastal Unified School District, which includes SLO, Morro Bay, Los Osos and Avila Beach, has four seats open but just two are being contested. In Trustee Area 1 parent and businessman, Mark Buchman and incumbent, Ellen Shaffer will both be appointed to new 4-year terms.
But Trustee Area 2 has challengers for those two seats. Victoria S. Dandurand, a parent and teacher, and retired elementary school teacher, Evelyn Frame are challenging incumbents Marilyn Rodger and Jim Quesenberry. Voters can choose two in this race.
Three appointed incumbents will continue in their roles on the board, as Julia Greenan-Stanert, John K. Russell and Gwen Kellas were all unopposed.
Cuesta College District
In the SLO County Community College District, which governs Cuesta College, two incumbents — Pat “Patrick” Mullen and Peter J. Sysak — were unopposed and will get new, 4-year terms.
And in the SLO County Board of Education, three seats are up and three people will be appointed without challenge. Paul Madonna of Trustee Area 2, Juan J Olivarria of Area 4, and George Galvan of Area 5 will get new 4-year terms.
All Countywide offices — Sheriff, District Attorney, Auditor-Controller, as well as two Supervisor seats — were all decided in the June Primary Election, with incumbents winning every race.
Local voters will also vote for their State Assemblyman with incumbent Republican Jordan Cunningham being challenged by Democrat Bill Ostrander vying for the 35th District office.
Readers 18-older are urged to register and vote in the November Election.
By Neil Farrell