Jim Patterson decides to go for three
August 11, 2011
Jim Patterson announced his intentions Wednesday to break the so-called “5th District curse” and win a third term on the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors. [Tribune]
Both David Blakely and Mike Ryan previously failed in their attempts at a third term in the district which includes parts of Atascadero, San Luis Obispo, Santa Margarita, and Creston. Patterson, first elected to office in 2004, is expected to face a strong challenge from Atascadero mayor Tom O’Malley in the 2012 race.
District 3 supervisor Adam Hill and District 1 supervisor Frank Mecham are also up for re-election next year, but neither is expected to face serious opposition. Instead, observers suggest that the real contest will be Patterson and O’Malley, with the political balance of the board of supervisors at stake. Past District 5 elections have been razor-thin close.
In making his announcement, Patterson argued that the county has some impressive achievements during the last four years. He cited solar plants approved for the Carrizo Plain, the Willow Road interchange with Highway 101 in Nipomo, the Los Osos sewer, a new fire station in Creston and progress on building a new library in Atascadero.
The 2012 race will be Patterson’s first without activist Sarah Christie playing a high-profile campaign role. The two had a falling out in 2010 after Patterson bowed to pressure and removed Christie as his planning commissioner. Susan Mullen of Morro Bay is running the Patterson campaign this time.
Patterson also must overcome criticism from some in the local environmental community for his support of two large solar projects on the Carrizo Plain.
Patterson will kick off his re-election campaign with a fundraiser from 4 to 7 p.m. Aug. 21 at The Carlton Hotel in Atascadero.