Caren Ray leads Jim Hill in Arroyo Grande, most other mayors’ races decided

Councilwoman Caren Ray

Following the final election night tally, Arroyo Grande Councilwoman Caren Ray is leading incumbent Mayor Jim Hill 51.89 percent to 48.00 percent in the most hotly contested San Luis Obispo County mayoral race.

A total of 238 votes are separating Ray and Hill. It is unclear how many votes have yet to be counted.

With all precincts having reported, Ray has a total of 3,177 votes. Hill has received 2,939 votes.

Hill has served as Arroyo Grande mayor since 2014, when he defeated incumbent Tony Ferrara while running as write-in candidate. Hill and Ray, who previously sided with Ferrara on the council, are backed by opposing forces in Arroyo Grande.

Slightly closer than the battle between Hill and Ray is the Morro Bay mayor’s race in which Councilman John Headding and business owner John Weiss are vying to replace outgoing Mayor Jamie Irons. Headding is leading Weiss by 101 votes, 51.21 percent to 48.63 percent.

Mayor Heidi Harmon

The other mayoral races in SLO County were not as close. San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon was reelected in a landslide, receiving 59.73 percent. Harmon’s main challenger, Keith Gurnee, received 37.51 percent, and perennial candidate Don Hedrick received just 2.61 percent.

In Grover Beach, Councilman Jeff Lee won the mayor’s race in a landslide, receiving 51.52 percent of the vote. Councilwoman Debbie Peterson garnered 35.71 percent, and challenger Liz Doukas received 12.56 of the vote for Grover Beach mayor.

Paso Robles Mayor Steve Martin won reelection handily, defeating Councilman Jim Reed 54.90 percent to 44.93 percent. Meanwhile in Atascadero, Councilwoman Heather Moreno, who ran unopposed, will become the next mayor.

Pismo Beach canceled its mayoral and council elections because the incumbents entered the races and no one opted to challenge them. Ed Waage will remain Pismo Beach mayor.