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Hill, Arnold, Irons come out with wins 

Local turnout sucked, some results seemed to surprise even the winners, and seemingly comfortable incumbents were unofficially turfed.

Despite about 10,000 lingering uncounted absentee ballots, the San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder’s office unofficially called the results of the June 5 primary just before midnight.

Assuming the results hold firm, the big local winners of the night were incumbent District 3 Supervisor Adam Hill, District 5 challenger Debbie Arnold, and newbie Morro Bay mayor-elect Jamie Irons.

In SLO County, about 39 percent of registered voters cast a ballot—much less than the 47 percent who voted in the 2010 California primary.

Hill handily defended his seat against his challenger, Pismo Beach City Councilman Ed Waage, with about 59 percent of votes over Waage’s 41 percent.

On his campaign Facebook page, Hill wrote, “Thanks to all the voters of District 3. Thanks to all my campaign staff and volunteers. Thanks to my many generous supporters. Thanks to those who insisted on a campaign of substance, and thanks for helping us prevail. More to come—I am so grateful.”

Arnold seemingly ousted two-term Supervisor Jim Patterson with a final tally of about 56 percent to 44 percent.

But while Hill garnered nearly 2,000
votes over his opponent, only 1,265 votes separated Arnold and Patterson. In 2008, Patterson won with just 240 votes more than his opponent.

“It will be an honor to work with the four other members of the Board of Supervisors to bring you only the highest quality of local government, a government that answers directly to the citizens of SLO County,” Arnold said in an e-mail to New Times.

And according to the Clerk-Recorder’s office, there remain about 10,000 uncounted absentee ballots, countywide.

The morning following the election, Morro Bay was still poring over its own results. Assuming the numbers aren’t contested, Irons snagged enough voters (about 53 percent) to take the mayoral seat from Bill Yates. But in the races for two City Council seats, for which there were four candidates, the results remained unclear as of press time. A city official told New Times that a primary is a “new process” for the city.

While Noah Smukler and Christine Johnson pulled in about 37 percent and 32 percent of votes, respectively, city officials had yet to determine whether such numbers qualified them to win outright. If not, the race will essentially go to a do-over in the November general election, with the same four candidates vying again for the same two seats.

Incumbent Congresswoman Lois Capps, a Democrat, charmed SLO County voters with about 45 percent of the vote, and indeed, secured about 46 percent of the vote in the newly drawn district. She was followed by Abel Maldonado, the former Republican lieutenant governor. Challengers Chris Mitchum, a Republican, and Matt Boutte, who ran with no party preference, were weeded out. Capps and Maldonado will now square off in the November general election.

Maldonado told New Times he was excited to be moving forward and believed voters who supported Mitchum in the primary would switch to his campaign in November, giving him the lead.

“I’m prepared to fight,” Maldonado said.

Arroyo Grande voters once again turned down a proposal to refinance existing fire station bonds in order to pay for a new police station. In 2010, voters turned down a nearly identical measure by a margin of just 89 votes. This year, so-called Measure A-12 secured 61 percent of votes, but failed to meet the necessary two-thirds threshold.

“It’s almost an impossible goal to reach,” Chief Steve Annibali told New Times, adding that he had trouble sleeping the previous night, so he got into work early and immediately began working on alternatives to finance a new police station. “There has to be something done with the current building.”

In other races, SLO County voters went in line with California as a whole and voted down Proposition 29, a proposed cigarette tax; and in favor of Proposition 28, which modifies term limits for state legislators.

Incumbent Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian won more voters both locally and district-wide over his Democratic challenger Gerry Manata.

The Democratic state senator hopeful Bill Monning failed to convince local voters, who gave about 53 percent of their votes instead to Republican candidate Larry Beaman. Districtwide, however, Monning held strong with 59 percent of the voters spanning across the newly drawn 17th District in the state Senate.

All of SLO County precincts reported results, though the final results remained unofficial as of press time.

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