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Government and Politics

Two SLO County Supervisor candidates respond to initial poll results at primary election parties

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Rachel Showalter
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Jimmy Paulding addresses supporters at a watch party in Arroyo Grande on June 7.

Election Day for the June primary was yesterday, and many of the local candidates held public parties in San Luis Obispo County. That included candidates for the SLO County Board of Supervisors Districts 2, 3 and 4.

In Arroyo Grande, District 4 candidate Jimmy Paulding gathered with family, friends and supporters to await the initial results that started coming in shortly after polls closed at 8p.m.

“So we got the first round of numbers. Things are looking pretty good. We’re up by 19 percentage points," Paulding told the crowd.

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Rachel Showalter
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Dawn Ortiz-Legg speaks at her election night party on June 7.

That lead over incumbent District 4 Supervisor Lynn Compton held throughout the night as the numbers continued to come in, with Paulding holding almost 60% of the votes counted by 10 p.m.

As of the last clerk-recorder update shortly before midnight, Paulding is maintaining his lead of 59.11% of votes, compared to 40.89% for Compton. That does not necessarily mean Paulding won the race, as these results are preliminary and will likely not be certified until July.

This is a unique election, as Compton and Paulding competed for the same seat in 2018, with Compton edging out Paulding by just 60 votes then. KCBX reached out to Compton to attend her election watch party and did not receive a response.

District 4 covers the southern areas of SLO County, including Nipomo and Arroyo Grande.

Further north in the county, incumbent District 3 Supervisor Dawn Ortiz-Legg held her election party in San Luis Obispo. District 3 covers much of the City of San Luis Obispo as well as coastal cities like Pismo Beach and Grover Beach.

However, although the District 3 boundaries did change in the last redistricting cycle, this primary race is based on the old district map from 2010 because it will complete the four-year term of late supervisor Adam Hill.

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County of San Luis Obispo
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A map of the newly-drawn SLO County districts after the 2020-2021 redistricting cycle.

Ortiz-Legg was up with about 66% of the vote by about 10 p.m., significantly ahead of candidates Stacy Korsgaden and Arnold Ruiz, who did not respond to watch party requests from KCBX.

“I’m very cautiously optimistic at this point," Ortiz-Legg said. "Those are some pretty strong numbers but, hey, anything can happen. You just never know.”

Ortiz-Legg said these preliminary numbers speak to voters’ desires to address issues like housing and homelessness, renewable energy development and water security.

“This really means that people are very interested in finding solutions, and I’m really happy about that because that’s what I’m all about," she said.

Ballots are still being counted this morning, and while certain races' outcomes may become more clear, the election will officially be certified July 7 at the latest.

Updated election information for every race in the county is available at the SLO County Clerk-Recorder’s website.

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