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Elaina Cano holds big lead in county clerk-recorder race 

San Luis Obispo County voters appear to have overwhelmingly picked Elaina Cano to continue leading the county election and clerk-recorder offices.

Preliminary June 7 election results showed Cano with a commanding lead over challengers James Baugh and Stew Jenkins, taking 66.8 percent of the vote as of press time.

click to enlarge NOT SO CLOSE Elaina Cano (left) is out to a commanding lead in the SLO County clerk-recorder race, taking more than two-thirds of the preliminary vote over challengers Stew Jenkins (center) and James Baugh (right). - PHOTOS COURTESY OF ELAINA CANO, JAMES BAUGH, AND STEW JENKINS
  • Photos Courtesy Of Elaina Cano, James Baugh, And Stew Jenkins
  • NOT SO CLOSE Elaina Cano (left) is out to a commanding lead in the SLO County clerk-recorder race, taking more than two-thirds of the preliminary vote over challengers Stew Jenkins (center) and James Baugh (right).

Cano, who was appointed to the top clerk-recorder position last year amid a vacancy, is poised to win her first-ever election. She previously held unelected clerk/election positions in SLO and Santa Barbara counties, SLO city, and Pismo Beach.

"It is very humbling," Cano told New Times on June 8. "I never ever imagined that the first posting of those results would show that lead. I was very surprised, kind of speechless."

Cano said that she's recused herself from all ballot counting during the election due to her role as both the clerk-recorder and a candidate.

Baugh, a Paso Robles resident who campaigned on concerns about election integrity, took 18 percent of the preliminary vote.

"We are looking forward to a rapid and transparent vote counting process that will deliver accurate results," Baugh said in a June 8 statement to New Times. "Our team has worked hard and we expect the vote counting to be unhindered and to be concluded in the same professional way that we conducted our campaign."

Jenkins, a local attorney, garnered 15.2 percent of the preliminary vote. He noted in a statement that many outstanding ballots are still uncounted, but he acknowledged that the results so far haven't gone his way.

"While the preliminary results released were not favorable, I await the full complete ballot count to honor the will of the voters," Jenkins said. "I want to thank the many friends who encouraged and supported me through the campaign and the many voters I met going door-to-door, for the privilege of participating in this election. It has been an honor hearing what they need from their county government."

If Cano's share of the vote remains above 50 percent, she'll win the election outright. If it dips below 50 percent, the clerk-recorder race will continue on to November in a runoff between the top two vote-getters. Δ

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