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Bruce Gibson wins 2nd District supervisor race by 13 votes

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In one of the tightest local elections in recent memory, San Luis Obispo County 2nd District Supervisor Bruce Gibson prevailed over challenger Bruce Jones, winning by 13 votes, or 0.06 percent, according to final certified election results posted Dec. 7.

The final tally showed Gibson with 11,722 votes and Jones with 11,709 votes. His reelection paves the way for a Democratic majority to take power on the Board of Supervisors after five years of Republican rule.

NARROW WIN Bruce Gibson was re-elected as 2nd District county supervisor by a margin of 13 votes. - PHOTO COURTESY OF BRUCE GIBSON
  • Photo Courtesy Of Bruce Gibson
  • NARROW WIN Bruce Gibson was re-elected as 2nd District county supervisor by a margin of 13 votes.

"I'm thrilled with the trust the voters have put in me," Gibson told New Times by phone after the results posted. "I'm excited that next year we'll have a chance to do some really good things for SLO County."

In the race, Gibson jumped out to an early lead after election night, only to see it dwindle with subsequent counts. Following a Nov. 23 update, Jones trailed by fewer than 40 votes. But the incumbent held on in the final count of about 800 2nd District ballots on Dec. 7.

"That is exceptionally close," Gibson said. "I've been in sort of suspended animation for a month. I've been telling people that once the polls closed, the result had been determined. Now it was just a matter of finding out what it was. It takes a long time."

Jones did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to SLO County Clerk-Recorder Elaina Cano, the county does not, by practice, conduct automatic recounts of close races. Any registered voter can ask for and fund a recount of the race before Monday, Dec. 12, at 5 p.m.

Cano said she had not received a formal recount request as Dec. 7.

In the June primary election, Cano's office was asked to conduct a hand recount of the 4th District supervisor contest between Jimmy Paulding and Lynn Compton, which lasted about a month. The margin of that race was 639 votes, and the recount did not change a vote. Paulding, who won that race, is set to take over the 4th District seat in January.

If the Nov. 8 election results hold, Gibson, Paulding, and 3rd District Supervisor Dawn Ortiz-Legg will lead the new liberal-leaning majority on the Board of Supervisors, with 1st District Supervisor John Peschong and 5th District Supervisor Debbie Arnold in the minority. Δ

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