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KCBX News Update: Nonprofit sues over SLO County district lines, and Jordan Cunningham will not run for re-election

The SLO County Board of Supervisors chose the Patten map and will vote to finalize it next week.
SLO County
The SLO County Board of Supervisors finalized the Patten map in December.

Nonprofit files suit against SLO County Board of Supervisors over redistricting lines 

A coalition calling itself SLO County Citizens for Good Government has officially filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the SLO County Board of Supervisors’ adoption of new district lines it formalized last month.

The group takes issue with the board’s adoption of the Patten map, which drastically altered the makeup of the county’s five supervisorial districts. Critics say the new map favors Republican voters and is designed to cement the conservative majority on the board for the next ten years.

Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that the 3-2 majority on the board violated the California Fair Maps Act by adopting a map giving one party an advantage. SLO County has about 6,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans, but the lawsuit alleges the new map creates three districts with significantly more Republicans in them and two with more Democrats — effectively ensuring a 3-2 conservative majority on the board.

The group said it has received more than $200,000 from more than 1,000 community members in support of the lawsuit so far.

Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham announces he will not run for re-election in new Central Coast district

Central Coast Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham announced today the will not run for re-election and will leave the Assembly after his third term ends.

Cunningham was elected as a Republican in 2016 to serve in the former District 35, which covered San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties.

However, last year's state redistricting process changed the Assembly lines considerably. The district that Cunningham was left with, the new District 30, joins SLO County with communities in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties.

That most likely made it more Democratic and therefore harder for a Republican to win in, though Cunningham did not cite this as a reason for not running for re-election in his statement posted to Twitter.

In that statement, Cunningham said he will “continue to fight for the Central Coast in the State Assembly” for the remainder of his term and that he suspects his time in politics is “not done.”

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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