More than 104,000 San Luis Obispo County ballots have been counted in the Super Tuesday, March 3, election, and the winners of the local primary races are close to official.
John Peschong, Debbie Arnold, and Adam Hill—the 1st District, 5th District, and 3rd District incumbents on the SLO County Board of Supervisors, respectively—are all poised to win re-election.
In the ballot counting that occurred since the primary election day, Hill surged ahead of challenger Stacy Korsgaden, who had jumped out to an early 304 vote lead. Now, with just 817 ballots left to count in the district as of press time, Hill leads by 528 votes, putting the three-term incumbent on pace for another victory. In order to close the gap, Korsgaden would have to win more than 80 percent of the remaining ballots.
In North County, Peschong and Arnold have secured victories over their respective challengers, Stephanie Shakofsky and Ellen Beraud. Both incumbent candidates are comfortably ahead—with Peschong up 32 percentage points and Arnold up 8 percentage points as of press time.
It's a disappointing result for Beraud, a former mayor of Atascadero, whose campaign fundraising outpaced all five other county supervisor candidates for much of the election cycle.
Local progressives had pinned their hopes on Beraud to flip SLO County's conservative-led board into a liberal-led board.
"Regardless of the final outcome, it has been an honor to have your support over the past 11 months," Beraud told supporters in a Facebook post on March 8. "Thank you ... for putting your trust in our campaign to bring good governance and a brighter future to SLO County."
Other items on the March 3 ballot are also nearing their official outcomes. A special tax measure in Oceano that would have funded its share of fire services from the Five Cities Fire Authority fell just short of two-thirds majority support. While post election day support for the measure increased the overall tally from 63 percent to 66 percent "yes," only 74 ballots remain to be counted. The measure would need nearly every remaining ballot to be in its favor in order to cross the two-thirds threshold.
In state and national races, SLO County backed incumbent Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) over challengers Andy Caldwell and Kenneth Young, with 53 percent of the vote. Carbajal and Caldwell—the Republican founder of the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture, and Business (COLAB) and a local radio host—will face off in the November election.
SLO County voters supported incumbent 35th District Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham over his Democratic challenger Dawn Addis—a Morro Bay City Council member—57 percent to 43 percent. That race will continue on to the November election.
Vicki Nohrden won the SLO County vote in a crowded primary to replace outgoing 17th District state Sen. Bill Monning. Nohrden, a Republican, earned 45 percent support, with Democrat John Laird finishing second at 35 percent. Nohrden and Laird will compete for the seat in November.
In the Democratic presidential primary race, SLO County backed Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) with 30 percent of the vote. Close behind him was former Vice President Joe Biden (27 percent), followed by Elizabeth Warren (16 percent), and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (11 percent). The results in SLO County mirrored those in California more broadly.
Local Republicans backed President Trump's re-election in a 93 percent vote. Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld and former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh each received 2 percent support in SLO County.
As of March 11, there were 4,784 ballots still be counted countywide. While breaking a voter registration record, SLO County will about equal its 2016 primary turnout, which was 61 percent.