Morro Bay businessman and president elect of the Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce John Headding has officially won a seat on the City Council.
On June 17, city officials announced that they wouldn’t count blank ballots as part of the total ballots cast, giving Headding the lead with 50.7 percent of the vote. Days before the announcement, Headding’s challenger, Morro Bay City Councilwoman Nancy Johnson, said she no longer intended to run.
Johnson, who is finishing her second term on the City Council, said she decided to drop out of the race rather than continue to devote the city’s time and money to the election.
“I feel like I’ve done my share, my duty for the city, and now it’s time to move on,” she said.
At issue in the election were 123 blank votes that, if counted as part of the total ballots cast, would have required a November runoff election.
When he takes office in December, Headding will join fellow newcomer Matt Makowetski on the City Council, replacing Johnson and George Leage, who decided not to pursue another term. Mayor Jamie Irons will begin his second term in office.
“I ran on a platform that mainly was really concentrating on fiscal responsibility and improving the overall economic status of the community,” Headding said. “So I will continue to dig deeply on what I would consider to be best practices for cities that are faced with significant financial challenges that have opportunities through economic development to really turn themselves around and build financial reserves.”
Headding said that he previously notified the Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce that he would resign if elected, and with the final results he said he plans to make that official within about a month.
Morro Bay is the only city in SLO County that holds a June election. The City Council is scheduled to discuss putting out a ballot measure that would eliminate the June election, opting instead for only one election in November.