On Friday evening, the San Luis Obispo County Clerk recorder’s Office most recent figures showed that Supervisor Lynn Compton’s lead over Jimmy Paulding was down to 50.1 percent. That’s a margin of only 31 votes.
If the trend continues, with 2,448 ballots left to count, both candidates have an almost equal chance of winning the election.
The board majority hangs in the balance as does future control of North County water basin management. Currently, Republican supervisors Compton, John Peschong and Debbie Arnold have stood with the bulk of North County voters in denying multiple attempts by a group of large land owners to garner control of North County basin management.
For years, several large vineyard owners and politicians, including Stewart and Linda Resnick, the Harvard Investment Fund and county supervisors Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson, have supported plans for a somewhat privatized groundwater basin district in the North County.
In his campaign for the District 4 supervisor seat, Paulding has parroted Hill and Gibson’s inaccurate claims that under county control, South County residents will be paying for North County basin management. If elected, Paulding said he will be the third vote Hill and Gibson need to place control of North County basin management into those controlling several North County water districts.
The county plans to release the next report on Monday. However, with 424 provisional ballots and more than 100 ballots with voter errors, it is likely to take longer to determine a winner.