The final count on the November Election has been done in San Luis Obispo County, and there were no changes in local races during what appears to be a record turnout.
SLO County posted an 88.35% turnout as 162,615 people out of 184,050 registered voters cast a ballot, according to the County Clerk-Recorder’s Office, which is in charge of elections in SLO County.
And in California’s grand experiment with universal mail-in balloting, brought on by fears of the Coronavirus Pandemic, saw SLO County cast 152,741 vote-by-mail ballots.
Only 9,874 voted at the polls, which were greatly reduced in number, though open over a 4-day election period (Oct. 31-Nov. 3) as opposed to the normal single day of voting.
SLO County went for Joe Biden-Kamala Harris in the Presidential race, scoring 52.29% (88,310 votes) to President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence’s 42.22% (67,436).
Democrat Congressman Salud Carbajal topped Republican challenger Andy Caldwell, 53.62% (84,608) to 46.38% (73,172) in the 24th Congressional District. Overall in the district, which also includes Santa Barbara and Coastal Ventura Counties, Carbajal got 212,563 votes (58.7%) and Caldwell 146,780 (41.3%).
SLO County also went for Democrat John Laird in the 17th District State Senate race, giving the Santa Cruz career politician 52.49% (81,001) to challenger Vicki Nohdren’s 47.51% (73,327).
Overall in the 17th District, Laird took 64.7% (319,750) to Nohdren’s 35.3% (174,452), according to the Secretary of State’s Election website, see: https://electionresults.sos.ca.gov/returns.
The 17th District includes SLO, Monterey, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara Counties.
In the race for the 35th State Assembly District, Republican incumbent Jordan Cunningham carried SLO County with 54.7% (85,530) to Democrat challenger and Morro Bay Councilwoman, Dawn Addis’ 45.4% (70,830).
Cunningham carried the overall district, winning re-election with 55.1% (126,579) to Addis’ 44.9% (103,206). The 35th District includes SLO and Santa Barbara Counties.
In the Morro Bay Mayor’s race, in a rematch from the 2018 election, Mayor John Headding prevailed over challenger John Weiss in one of the closest races in all of SLO County, 50.83% (3,476) to 49.17% (3,362), a mere 114 vote difference.
In the race for two council seats, incumbent Robert Davis came in first out of four candidates, taking 27.57% (3,197). Second place went to Laurel Barton with 26.74% (3,100) filling the open seat formerly held by Marlys McPherson, who didn’t run for re-election.
Also-rans were former 2-term Councilwoman Betty Winholtz (23.29%, 2,700) and Richard Sadowski (22.4%, 2,597).
Cambria CSD winners were Harry Farmer (30.02%, 2,529), Karen Dean (27.28%, 2,298) and Tom Gray (22.56%, 1,901). David Pearson finished out of the money with 20.14% and 1,697 votes.
Cesilia Ann Lomeli (47.08%, 2,895) and Cecilia Montalvo (27.08%, 1,665) were elected to the Cambria Community Healthcare District board, beating out Kristi Jenkins (25.84%, 1,589).
In the Cayucos Sanitary District, Hannah Miller (43.75%, 1,128) and Bob Enns (40.92%, 1,055) were re-elected. Also, John Drayer got 15.32% and 395 votes.
Morro Bay’s Measure E-20, a 1-percent sales tax hike, was approved by voters with 58.55% (4,113) in favor and 41.45% (2,912) against. So the City’s local sales tax rate will go from one-half percent to 1.5% (plus the State’s 7.25% for a total sales tax in Morro Bay of 8.75%).
As a general fund tax, Measure E-20 needed just 50%-plus-one vote to pass. Had it been for a specific purpose, for example road repairs, it would have needed two-thirds majority (66%) for approval.
City Manager Scott Collins said the new tax would kick in April Fool’s Day and the revenues start to be realized with the 2021-22 City budget starting July 1, 2021. The City claimed it would raise up to $2 million a year, given a normal economy.
In the case of an Atascadero school bond, Measure C-20, for $40 million, the measure needed 55% under State Law. C-20 came up short, garnering 54.45% according the County Elections Office.
However, Measure D-20, a 1% sales tax hike put up by the City of Atascadero passed easily with 58.6%.
Sales tax hikes were also approved in San Luis Obispo and Grover Beach. And voters in Pismo Beach approved a hike in the transient occupancy taxes, from 10% to 11%, expected to raise $1 million a year and be paid by tourists.