Morro Bay voters appear in early results to be returning the Mayor for a second, 2-year term, re-electing one councilman, and choosing a new councilwoman in election night results announced by the county elections office.
With 68.41% of the votes counted — 5,562 of the 8,174 ballots that were mailed out — Mayor John Headding leads challenger John Weiss 52.76% to 47.22% (2,764 to 2,474) and appears headed for a second 2-year term.
Incumbent Councilman Robert Davis appears headed for re-election with 28.02% (2,528 votes), with newcomer Laurel Barton leading for the other open seat with 27.82% (2,510) of the vote.
Other challengers Betty Winholtz (22.56%, 2,035) and Richard Sadowski (21.59%, 1,948) appear to have their bids falling short.
And in what may be the most visible race in Morro Bay, the Measure E-20 sales tax increase is heading towards approval with 60.02% “Yes” to 39.98% “No.” If numbers hold, Morro Bay’s local sales tax rate will go from one-half percent to 1.5 percent.
Incumbent 24th District Congressman Salud Carbajal looks to be running away with his re-election bid, leading Republican challenger Andy Caldwell 58.43% (65,744) to 41.57% (46,776) with 62.54% of the votes counted in SLO County. All of Santa Barbara County and a slice of coastal Ventura County are also part of the 24th District.
In the race for State Assembly 35th District, with 62.54% (115,101 votes counted of 184,050 total ballots mailed) Republican Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham narrowly leads challenger, Democrat Dawn Addis, 50.35% to 49.65% (56,065 votes to 55,294).
Voters from Northern Santa Barbara County — Santa Maria, Lompoc and Guadalupe — are included in the 35th Assembly District, and will apparently decide the winner.
In the Cayucos Sanitary District, three people ran for two seats and two incumbents lead the race. At press time, Hannah Millar had 44.66% of the vote (882), and Robert Enns had 40.25% (795). John Drayer had 15.09% (298).
In the Cambria CSD race, with 75.54% of the votes counted (3,398 of the 4,498 mailed ballots) incumbent Harry Farmer leads (30.40%, 2,140) with Karen Dean second (27.40%, 1,929) and Tom Gray third (22.26%, 1,560). David Pierson appears headed for defeat with 19.99% (1,407). Top three will win seats.
It should be noted that results reported here are as of Tuesday night, with unknown numbers of ballots left to count, as California’s 100% mail-in ballot election plays itself out.
Final results are not expected for a few weeks, as the county elections office continues counting ballots. The local election will be official when the Board of Supervisors certifies it.
Morro Bay City Council terms of office run through Dec. 8, and the City Clerk and City Council must certify the election, as well. City Clerk Dana Swanson said they had not yet decided how to handle the swearing in and transfer of power, normally an occasion for celebration. The coronavirus pandemic response makes this a strange new world.
Swanson said, “That’s a topic of discussion for cities around the state and staff will present some options to the incoming mayor on how to do that in a virtual world. We anticipate the council will certify the results at the December 8 regular meeting, and swearing in will either be done virtually at that same meeting, or at an in-person event on, or after, that date.” She added that they would release the details “as more information becomes available.”