Harmon wins in landslide, Howell at risk of losing Coastal Commission seat

Mayor Heidi Harmon


Despite one of her challengers raising considerably more money than her, San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon won reelection in a landslide Tuesday, garnering a majority of the vote in a four-person race. Meanwhile, San Luis Obispo County is at risk of losing representation on the California Coastal Commission, as Pismo Beach Councilman Erik Howell is currently in third place in his city council race.

Harmon received 53.93 percent of the vote for mayor of San Luis Obispo, according to the last election night tally. Business owner Cherisse Sweeney, who raised the most money among candidates in the race, finished second with 32.28 percent of the vote. Sandra Marshall-Eminger and Donald Hedrick received 12.20 percent and 1.54 percent respectively.

In an eight-person race for two seats on the SLO City Council, incumbent Andy Pease appears to have won reelection, coming in first with 24.60 percent. Former Mayor Jan Marx trails Pease with 20.54 percent and is also in line to be elected to the council.

Newcomer Abrianna Torres, who raised the most money among council candidates, is in third place with 16.81 percent fo the vote. Torres is trailed by James Papp with 11.51 percent, Kelly Evans with 11.07 percent, Robin Wolf with 5.75 percent, Erik Long with 5.63 percent and Jeffery Specht with 4.08 percent.

Pismo Beach Councilman Erik Howell

In Pismo Beach, Howell appears to be close to losing both his council seat and his seat on the California Coastal Commission. 

Newcomer Scott Newton came in first in a five-person race for two council seats, receiving 34.80 percent of the vote. Incumbent Councilwoman Marcia Guthrie is in second place with 24.53 percent, ahead of Howell in third with 22.76 percent. 

Debora Ann Lossing and James Robert Prichard garnered 10.02 percent and 7.87 percent of the vote respectively.

Also in Pismo Beach, Mayor Ed Waage won reelection, defeating challenger and former KSBY anchor Dan Shadwell. Waage received 58.45 percent of the vote, while Shadwell garnered 41.42 percent.

Incumbents are also winning in the three other mayoral elections held in SLO County. Morro Bay Mayor John Headding leads John Weiss 52.48 percent to 47.46 percent. 

Atascadero Mayor Heather Moreno, who received 43.41 percent of the vote, leads challengers Jerry Tanimoto, who has 35.41 percent, and Josh Donovan, at 21.15 percent.

Grover Beach Mayor Jeff Lee defeated challenger Elizabeth Doukas with ease. Lee is leading Doukas 70.26% to 29.60%.

Among the council races, the closest call is in Atascadero. 

Atascadero Councilman Charles Bourbeau has likely won reelection. Bourbeau is in first place with 27.83 percent of the vote. 

Then, candidates Mark Dariz and Tori Keen are neck and neck. Dariz narrowly leads Keen 24.52 percent to to 24.29 percent. 

Nicholas Mattson, in fourth place, received 17.48 percent of the vote, while Brett Heinemann came in fifth with 5.85 percent.

In Grover Beach, incumbent Councilwoman Karen Bright won reelection, coming in first among five candidates vying for two four-year council seats. Bright received 30.99 percent of the vote.

Anna Miller, who garnered 23.26 percent, is in line to win a council seat, as well. Trailing Miller are Will Bruce at 16.87 percent, Daniel Rushing at 15.11 percent and Joseph Holmes at 13.73 percent. 

Additionally, Grover Beach has a close three-way race for a single two-year council seat. Robert Robert is currently in position to win the two-year seat, but Fred Buenrostro, Jr. and David Duringer are both within a 2 percent margin.

Robert leads the race with 34.21 percent of the vote, followed by Buenrostro at 32.53 percent and Duringer at 32.45 percent. Buenrostro has managed to remain competitive in the race, despite having a long criminal history that required him to register as a sex offender for five years.

In Morro Bay, incumbent Councilman Robert “Red” Davis and candidate Laurel Barton have likely won seats on the council. Davis and Barton have garnered 28.03 percent and 27.60 percent of the vote respectively.

The other two challengers in the race, Betty Winholtz and Richard Sadowski, received 22.66 percent and 21.70 percent.

Paso Robles held SLO County’s first by-district council election, though it was not very competitive. In the North County city’s District 3, incumbent Steve Gregory ran unopposed and was reelected to the council.

In District 4, Paso Robles Councilman Fred Strong won reelection. Strong received 62.66 percent of the vote, while challenger Jacob Allred garnered 37.13 percent.