The California Assembly’s historically Republican leaning 35th District stayed in Republican hands—at least according to initial and unofficial vote counts posted on the SLO County clerk-recorder’s website. Jordan Cunningham defeated Democratic opponent Dawn Ortiz-Legg to take the seat, which represents San Luis Obispo County and part of Santa Barbara County.
Voters picked Cunningham with 54 percent of the vote, compared to Ortiz-Legg’s 46 percent. He will be replacing two-term Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, who did not have enough votes to move from the primary into the general election.
Cunningham has previously worked as a SLO County deputy district attorney and later established the Templeton-based Cunningham Law Group; he also has a seat on the Templeton Unified School District board of trustees. His main goals are to push for desalination as a solution to some of the Central Coast’s water issues, advocate for career and technical education at the high school level, and improve the small business climate.
Both candidates ran a costly campaign relying heavily on mailers and campaign literature. Aside from television and radio advertising, Cunningham spent $113,402 this year between January and late September. During the same months Ortiz-Legg spent $27,765.
Neither candidate returned requests for comment.