Arnold, Hill, Mecham prevail
June 6, 2012
Voters in the county’s fifth supervisor district turned their backs on incumbent Jim Patterson Tuesday, giving the nod to Debbie Arnold and creating a conservative majority on the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors.
In the third district, incumbent Adam Hill outdistanced challenger Ed Waage 58.62 percent to 40 percent — 94 percent of the total tally. First district’s Frank Mecham, former mayor Paso Robles, easily retained his seat without opposition.
Arnold, a rancher in Pozo, was strongly backed by conservative and Republican interests and responded by collecting 55.66 percent of the vote to Patterson’s 44.16. She outspent her opponent considerably.
The current board chairman conceded shortly before midnight after seeing his vote support fall sharply.
Patterson, Hill and Bruce Gibson — who did not face election this go-around — formed a liberal bloc on the current board and collectively have been accused by business, ranching and wine interests of over regulation.
Arnold will tip the board to the right in a new majority including Mecham and Supervisor Paul Teixeira.
The actual makeup of the current board will not change until January 2013.