City Councilman Dan Carpenter could be defined by a few things these days, including his proclivity to go against the majority as a member of the San Luis Obispo City Council and his political isolation on the City Council after the departure of former Councilwoman Kathy Smith.
Now, Carpenter hopes to add SLO County supervisor to the list. On March 20, he announced in an email to local media his intention to run for District 3 supervisor.
“I don’t play to the crowd,” Carpenter said, describing his political style to New Times. “I don’t play to the populace or a particular party base.”
The district, currently led by Supervisor Adam Hill, encompasses coastal areas of Southern SLO County, including Avila Beach, Pismo Beach, and Edna Valley.
Carpenter said he’d thought before about transitioning from city politics to the wider county level, but he made the decision to run upon learning that others—such as Grover Beach Mayor Debbie Peterson—were getting in the race early.
On top of that, Carpenter said he was receiving pressure to run from friends he’s not yet ready to identify, but whom he said are “all leaders who I think will be well respected.” Carpenter said he’d identify those individuals in the coming weeks as he puts together his committee.
And in a race for the seat currently occupied by Hill—who’s become one of the more polarizing figures on the Board of Supervisors, sometimes clashing with members of politically right-leaning groups like the Coalition of Labor Agriculture & Business of San Luis Obispo County (COLAB)—Carpenter recognized that he’ll probably become the not-Hill candidate. At least at first.
“Part of my support is going to come because I’m just not Adam Hill, and I’m OK with that,” he said, adding that once the campaign begins he believes he’s “going to be more than just not Adam Hill.”