The race for the San Luis Obispo County District 2 supervisor seat heats up as Jeff Eckles announces he will challenge Supervisor Bruce Gibson in the June election while former District 2 supervisor and coastal commissioner Steve MacElvaine considers joining the battle.
Gibson, who has served as a county supervisor since 2006 and has been subsequently re-elected twice, is under fire for his alleged rude and arrogant behavior. As chair, Gibson reduced public comment to two minutes and regularly corrected public speakers.
Probably the biggest challenge facing whichever candidate voters elect in June, will be dealing with the lack of civility at board meetings and social media attacks initiated by Supervisor Adam Hill and several of his supporters.
Eckles is a small business owner and the former executive director of the Home Builders Association of the Central Coast. He has also worked as a financial adviser.
In late 2016, Hill allegedly threatened to put a target on Home Builder Association members’ projects if the association did not donate more money to his campaign. After the association refused to comply with Hill’s pay-to-play demand, Hill attempted to have Eckles fired, several members of the association said.
Gibson and Hill, both Democrats, generally vote together and regularly oppose the boards three-person conservative majority. Eckles is registered as no party preference.
MacElvaine, a Republican, served as the District 2 supervisor from 1979 through 1983 and on the California Coastal Commission from 1983 through 1993. Currently the owner of a cattle ranch and avocado orchard, MacElvaine is considering joining the race for District 2 supervisor, he said.