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Progressive majority to be sworn in to SLO County Board of Supervisors

SLO County
The SLO County Board of Supervisors adopted new district lines in December 2021.

The swearing-in ceremony for the new SLO County Board of Supervisors will be held tomorrow morning. It marks the return of a progressive majority to the board.

One new board member will be sworn in tomorrow: Jimmy Paulding in District 4. The former Arroyo Grande City Councilmember defeated incumbent supervisor Lynn Compton in last year’s June primary.

Paulding will now represent South SLO County, including Nipomo, Arroyo Grande, Huasna, Edna Valley, Santa Margarita Lake, and the Carrizo Plain.

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

The board now has a progressive majority formed of Paulding and fellow supervisors Bruce Gibson and Dawn Ortiz-Legg. With Compton out of office, the two remaining conservative supervisors Debbie Arnold and John Peschong are now in a conservative minority.

The previous conservative majority of Compton, Arnold and Peschong faced criticism for their controversial vote to redraw SLO County’s district boundaries in December 2021. The vote redrew the county’s five districts into a map that critics say favors Republican voters.

The new districts did not lead to the conservative majority staying in place on the new Board, but they will be in effect for future elections until after the next census in 2030.

However, there is an ongoing lawsuit against the Board alleging that the new maps violated California election law, which could potentially change SLO County’s districts again.

The swearing-in ceremony is tomorrow at 9a.m.

Benjamin Purper was News Director of KCBX from May of 2021 to September of 2023. He came from California’s Inland Empire, where he spent three years as a reporter and Morning Edition host at KVCR in San Bernardino. Dozens of his stories have aired on KQED’s California Report, and his work has broadcast on NPR's news magazines, as well. In addition to radio, Ben has worked as a newspaper reporter and freelance writer.
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