Who will be appointed to replace Adam Hill as SLO County supervisor?

Oct 13, 2020

The California governor’s office says there’s still no word on who Gavin Newsom will pick to replace the late Adam Hill on the San Luis Obispo County board of supervisors.

According to an emailed statement by Newsom’s press secretary, it’s up to Newsom to decide whether he will even make an appointment in the coming months. The next election for the seat won't take place until the 2024 primary. 

“In the case of the San Luis Obispo supervisorial vacancy, or any supervisorial vacancy, it is at the discretion of the governor to decide whether to act on an appointment,” said Newsom press secretary Jesse Melgar. “That decision is still under consideration.”

Asked what the governor is looking for in someone to fill the District 3 seat, Melger replied, “qualified candidates who exhibit passion and dedication towards” serving as a county supervisor.

There’s a unit in the governor’s office tasked with vetting applications and making recommendations to the governor. As Melger explains it, “the appointment process to fill county supervisorial vacancies uses the same process as other gubernatorial appointments. Interested parties are encouraged to complete the appointment application form found online at gov.ca.gov/appointments. Once applications are received, the appointments unit reviews them, interviews top candidates and makes recommendations to the governor. The governor may interview candidates and then proceed to make an appointment.”

Hill died in office on August 6, a few months after being narrowly elected in the 2020 Primary Election to a fourth term as the District 3 supervisor. Hill won over his challenger, Stacy Korsgaden, by 587 votes.

As of September, there were at least seven women confirmed as candidates for the open seat: Erica Stewart, Erica Baltodano, Dawn Ortiz-Legg, Mariam Shah, Peg Pinard, Stacy Korsgad and Kara Woodruff. The seven participated in a two-hour-long virtual candidate forum-type event on Sept. 2, organized by the NAACP San Luis Obispo County, the League of Women Voters and the Latino Outreach Council. Other local names mentioned as possible candidates are Erik Howell and Stew Jenkins. 

On Tuesday morning, Kara Woodruff responded to an emailed inquiry on whether she's received any information from the governor's office.

"Other than receiving immediate acknowledgement of [her application's] submittal, I’ve heard nothing from the governor’s office since," Woodruff said. 

It’s unclear how many others have submitted appointment applications in the weeks since Hill’s death.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect that Peg Pinard and Stacy Korsgaden also participated in the Sept. 2 town hall organized by the NAACP San Luis Obispo County, the League of Women Voters and the Latino Outreach Council.