And the 2014 winners are . . .

November 4, 2014

election 2014Here we are, live in CalCoastNews Election Central, waiting for the first returns to be posted. Check with us throughout the evening as we report on the results from today’s election.

And feel free to add comments as we go along. We want to make this as interactive as possible. Glad to have you along.

6:14   Republicans now need only three more seats to seize Senate control, according to a CNN projection.

7:13   Floridians will not have legalized medical marijuana, bucking a national trend. The amendment received about 57 percent of the vote, with 60 percent required. In Alaska, voters will get a chance to legalize recreational marijuana.

8:00   Locally, the polls have closed and the people have spoken — those who decided to vote, that is.

8:14   Paso Robles native Dana Peterson reports she hit two deer en route to her voting place. The yearlings survived, and Peterson made it to the polls on time.

8:44   Congressional 24th District candidates Lois Capps and Chris Mitchum are half a point apart with Capps at 50.55 percent of the vote and Mitchum at 49.45 percent with less than a third of the votes counted.

8:48   At 53.55 percent of the vote, 4th District supervisor candidate Lynn Compton has more than a 7 percent lead over incumbent Caren Ray with 46.24 percent of the vote.

8:50   Shocker! Arroyo Grande mayoral write-in candidate Jim Hill has 38.96 percent of the vote against incumbent Tony Ferrara, who is also the president of the League of California Cities, who is leading with 61.04 percent. This could be a close race with Hill throwing his hat in late and the current votes being limited to mail-in.

9:01   In Arroyo Grande’s city council contest, newcomer Barbara Harmon has taken an early but solid lead with 36.7 percent of the vote tallied thus far, followed by incumbent Tim Brown at 31.7 percent. The other incumbent, Joe Costello, a close ally of Mayor Ferrara, follows with 30.9 percent.

9:10  Arroyo Grande voters are saying no to becoming a charter city with 61.82 percent saying no.

9:11   Grover Beach Mayor candidate John Schoals has a 10 point lead over incumbent Debbie Peterson with 23.9 percent of the votes in. The voters are clearly in favor of a bond to fund road repair with 67.91 in voting yes.

9:12   The race for Pismo Beach Mayor is close with incumbent Shelly Higginbotham having 51.7 percent and he challenger Kevin Kreowski at 48.65 percent. Four candidates are running for two council seat, with Sheila Blake at 26.90 percent and Marcia Guthrie at 24.46 percent leading.

9:15   Atascadero Mayor Tom O’Maley has an 18 point lead over his challenger Charles Scovell. Atascadero council incumbents Heather Moreno and Brian Sturtevant are leading against challengers Len Colamarino and Chuck Ward.

9:18   Cuesta College’s Measure L bond has broad support with 60.91 percent voting yes.

9:23   Steve Martin, unopposed, will be Paso Robles’ new mayor, but there are 96 write-in selections against his early 97 percent total. Incumbent council member John Hamon has an early edge at 21.8 percent, followed by current mayor Duane Picanco, who seeks a council seat, with 19.7 percent, and Pamela Avila, Jim Reed, and Steve Gregory trailing by mere fractions of a point. This may be the tightest of the county’s races, with only two of the five making it to the dais.

9:33   San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx has a strong lead with 76.46 percent of the vote. Incumbent Carlyn Christianson is leading five candidates for two seats with 32.82 percent of the vote. Second in line is Dan Rivoire with 24.92 percent. Measure G, the 1 percent sales tax increase, is winning with 69.99 percent of the vote.

9:50   Plenty of votes to be counted yet, but Arroyo Grande’s quest for charter city status is failing by a large measure, 61.82 percent of voters saying no, no, no, and 38.18 percent giving the plan a nod.

1:19   Absentee ballots still need to be counted and several races are too close to call.

In Pismo Beach, Mayor Shelly Higginbotham is beating Kevin Kreowski by just 15 votes. While one council seat appears to be taken by newcomer Sheila Blake, incumbent Mary Ann Reiss and Marcia Guthrie are currently tied, both having 1,084 votes.

The Paso Robles City Council race for two seats has five candidates still in the race. Running from 21.9 percent to 18.5 percent, each candidate still has a chance. Incumbent council member John Hamon leads the pack followed by current Mayor Duane Picanco, Jim Reed, Pamela Avila and Steve Gregory.

A fight between Tony Ferrara, the embattled current mayor of Arroyo Grande, and late write-in candidate Jim Hill is likely to go in favor of the incumbent, but the race is still open.

Amid allegations of mismanagement and a coverup, Arroyo Grande Council candidate Barbara Harmon received 37.4 percent of the vote garnering one of two seats while incumbent Tim Brown came in second with 32.3 percent of the vote and Joe Costello lost his seat receiving 29.3 percent of the vote.

Arroyo Grande Mayor Tony Ferrara is ahead of write in candidate Jim Hill by 386 votes.

Nevertheless, Hill’s campaign was not launched until after the mail in ballots were sent. And while he lost in early returned mail-in-ballots, Hill led in Tuesday’s voting.

In the mayor race, in 721 votes  a bubble was not filled in leading the vote to be determined blank. If Jim Hill’s name is on the line, even though the box is not checked, in a recount the vote will go to Hill.

Congressional District 4 Rep. Lois Capps  won against her challenger Chris Mitchum by slightly more than 3 percent.

Voters elected Lynn Compton by more than 7 percent to serve as District 4 supervisor in January.

In other races, incumbents squashed their opponents. Atascadero Mayor Tom O’Malley won by approximately 19 percent while council members Heather Moreno and Brian Sturtevant kept their seats.

Grover Beach mayor Debbie Peterson lost by 11 percent to former Mayor John Shoals and San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx walked away with 74.9 percent of the vote.



California is an island of sanity in a nation full of stupid people and outright lunatics.

Republicans run on destroying everything and against science and modernity, and their idiot ‘base’ votes for them and against their own interests every time.

Most Democrats are cowards that refuse to run on their accomplishments and allow themselves to be defined by their enemies and the corporate media whores.

America really should be renamed Stupidland, as this false democracy has elections where everyone is a loser, except for the multi-billionaires that fund the politics and a few of their elitist stooges.


Rough night SF?


agag1 BRAVO!!!!!!




I slept fine.

Solid progressives not afraid to stand up for their convictions won: Al Franken, Jerry Brown, Jean Shaheen, Alan Grayson, Jeff Merkley.

Phony, Wall Street conservadems LOST: Mark Pryor, Allison Grimes, Michelle Nunn.

Weak chickens like Braley, Mark Udall also lost.

The only one that fought a good fight and came close was Kay Hagan in regressive North Carolina. Her race was adversely impacted by Republican voter suppression.

But, I’m OK.

the guy paso

Hearts and minds, slow-man, hearts and minds. I would think you are 0-for in that critical department. God bless you nonetheless


Lyndon Johnson had a famous saying that would fit here ( about hearts and minds ), but wouldn’t pass the censors.

Republicans only contemplate change or an opposing viewpoint when things become personal for them.


And that island is composed of plastic, silicone, corruption, crime, make believe, fools gold. makeup, and an overwhelming sense of entitlement.

It’s an island alright, but of sanity? NOT even close.


Well, that is an interesting reveal about yourself. What parts of you are silicone?


I of course I’m make believe. Although not real…I’m everywhere.

Welcome to the Hotel California.


That is nonsense. Most Democrats are not behaving the way they are because they are cowards, they are behaving that way because they are JUST AS CROOKED as the Republicans, they just have better rhetoric. The sooner you stop thinking they are the victims of their opponents, the sooner we can start electing people from other parties.


People align themselves with political ideations for many, and sometimes complex, reasons.

The majority spoke. That is how the system works. Being an unpleasant loser doesn’t help the situation, and may make it worse.

If the past holds any clue about how the GOP will act with their majority, the GOP will soon launch investigations targeting first Obama and then possibly Hillary Clinton. I am not worried about Hillary.

And I am not as worried as I would have been six months ago because I think Obama has learned from his ridiculous “let’s be friends” approach.

We can take hope from the fact that Obama came to the presidency from Chicago, not the gentlest of environments, and that he will pull from that part of his past experience in the next two years.

Who knows? With any luck at all, Obama may pull Rahm Emmanual back into action, this time giving him free rein.

If Obama ever needed a war-time cosigliere, it is now.

So cheer up. Obama has shown rare backbone in the last six months, first with not caving and selecting a new surgeon general and then by out-manuerving the GOP by selecting an “ebola czar” as demanded by the GOP, but defining the position as someone who is an expert in negotiating government beuracacy. The GOP wanted another punching bag, and Obama gave them someone who will facilitate making the beauracracy work…but behind the seens.

If Obama realizes he has nothing to lose, and his legacy to save, he just may surprise us all.


Your hatred for those Americans with different beliefs is amazing. Even though I disagree with your narrow opinions I hold no hatred for you because of your lack of tolerance for your fellow Americans. I am enjoying the hope for a better America today. I hope you also benefit in the future!


The fact is…Jim is a WINNER regardless of the outcome.


I am glad Capps won. I see her years in office as being mainly positive, and I think she will do well in her next term.


Lois won by 4,600 votes? Thank goodness for those temporary non-stakeholder transient votes at UCSB. Without those young community vagabonds, she might have been forced to retire! Kids, even if you don’t hang around to experience the consequences of your vote, it sure does count! You are the bread and butter for THE PARTY.


I just wish Walter had lived to serve the same terms. He was loved by both sides of the isle and would have served very effectively.



I still remember that horrible wreck he and Lois were involved in, right before election day.

My daughter went to school with their daughter, as well.

When I was a member of the Democratic Central Committee in SB, they were so generous in allowing us to hold fund raisers at their home.

When Walter died, Newt Gingrich, who was a good criend with Walter, gave the eulogy .

They broke the mold when they made Walter, and I miss him terribly.


He never fully recovered following the accident. He was only able to campaign for a week or two before the election. Whenever he was in Morro Bay,he’d stop by the shop and we’d visit.

I found him to be a true Renaissance man.


Thanks for sharing that personal memory, Mary. He truly was a good man!


If anyone is interested, wikipedia has a list of American write-in presidential, senatorial and representative candidates, and their successes.


So out of the 708,000 members of Congressional District 24, only about 150,000 voted and, of those, only about 75,000 voted for Lois Capps. See

I’m quite sad that she was approved to do more damage. As a “healthcare professional” she has FULLY ignored healthcare QUALITY issues. As reported recently in the Journal of Patient Safety, over 400,000 people per year are KILLED by the mistakes of our medical “professionals.” This is on top of an Institute of Medicine study in 1999 that estimated the number at 98,000 per year. SO, based on the data, from 1984 to now, we have killed something like 3 to 12 million people from these mistakes. If the more recent, scientific estimates are accurate, our medical industry has, in 30 years, KILLED more than Hitler.

Lois’ focus is only access to care and cost of care.

Shame on her. Shame on us for not voting.

Mike Byrd

None of us has any experience with a write-in campaign but I don’t believe a recount would be necessary. If my understanding is correct, a simple request to hand-tally the 721 is all that is needed. But I’d welcome correction.


But would 721 votes equal a Hill win?

Even if it doesn’t, Jim Hill and his campaign supporters did a phenomenal job in shaking Ferrara’s chokehold on the city and its residents! With only a few weeks to campaign and a limited budget, Hill and his supporters ended up weakening Ferrara and his power base, something many viewed as impossible!

So even if Hill doesn’t win the mayor’s seat, he upended life as they know it for Ferrara and his groveling minions. It may end up with a successful recall of Ferrara. Certainly, it may impact Steve Adams open-ended resignation, as Ferrara scrambles to avoid a full-scale, REAL investigation and forensic audit.

No matter how the vote count turns out, Jim Hill’s decision to challenge Ferrara with a write-in campaign, which some viewed in a Quijote-esqe challenge, Hill’s campaign will have a long-reaching impact on city politics that cannot even be imagined now.

No matter the outcome of the vote count, Jim Hill will have one the battle to change city politics.


Jim is only behind by 364 votes. Pretty incredible result for a write in candidate when you think about it.



While, of course, I hoped for a large Hill win, considering the short time they had to prepare their campaign and financing, it WAS (in my opinion) a trouncing of Ferrara.

There will be changes because of the Hill campaign, all centered on the (relative) thrashing delivered to Ferrara by Hill.

Can’t you just see Ferrara walking down the hallways of City Hall, and with each employee he sees, wondering if they voted for Hill….


The best part is…at least some of them did!

Extremely Stoic

California is a big loser in this election. With Replicans controlling all the money, why will they send any to this Democratic controlled state? California can’t even find their own give-away programs without ad find to a deficient.


English only please.


They will send money to California because:

***Our state has over 18million voters.

***Approximately 1/2 of them are Republicans.

***Of the 131,144,000 national voters, 13.73% are Californians.

***If California were a country, we would be one of the tenth largest countries in the world.

***In 2012, California’s agriculture output from 80,500 ranches and farms was $42.6 billion.

***California is the number one nationally in cash farm receipts (11.3% of our nation’s total).

***California was responsible for 15% of national receipts for crops and 7.1% of national revenue for livestock and livestock products.

***California exports were $18.18billion in value (8% increase over the previous year).

While there is no telling what the GOP will do if their Tea Party faction grabs the rest of the GOP by the short hairs, the #1 goal of all politicians in D.C. is to be reelected.

It would be political suicide for the GOP to short-sheet California’s financial bed because of the voter backlash the GOP would suffer in the 2016 elections (a presidential election year).

So I see the chance of the GOP celebrating their senate victory by pissing-off a cash cow like California to be highly unlikely. Both parties have their eyes on 2018, and I doubt the GOP would shoot itself in the foot politically, with the next presidential election just two years down the road.


Voter numbers from last presidential election (2012).

California agricultural numbers from the CFDA.



“***If California were a country, we would be one of the tenth largest countries in the world.”

Should read:

“***If California were a country, our economy would make us one of the tenth largest countries in the world.”

Extremely Stoic

Sounds like they would send us money because we don’t need it, that makes perfect left-wing sense


Don’t be dense.

The only reason they will continue to well fund California is because provides the most tax-payer dollars, and because we have so many voters.

The only reason a midterm elections matters at all is as a set-up for the next presidential-elction. Both parties are trying to jockey their positions with an eye towards 2016.


It’s a sad day for the community of Arroyo Grande, as life will go on just as it has before

Hope lies in change, but for now, it’s back to business as usual, that which lacks morality, integrity, and professionalism.


AG won’t just go on as it did before.

This is how I see it:

With Jim Hill’s write-in campaign being so successful, percentage-wise, he and his supporters have delivered a terrible blow to Ferrara and his supporters.

I anticipate things will change in the city council because they know if Ferrara wins, his days will still be numbered. Someone (hopefully Jim) will challenge Ferrara in the next mayorial election, and with the time to put together strategies and financing, the chances are high that Ferrara will lose. The city council members know Ferrara has been wounded by his poor showing in the election, and they will be less likely to be bullied by Ferrara into agreeing with him when they know he is wrong.

Ferrara will be shoved into a lame-duck position, and if Ferrara is a lame duck, then Steve Adams is a mortally wounded duck.

I see Ferrara losing his bully power over the city, its residents and its workers, and if he loses his bully power, perhaps previously bullied city workers and residents will come forward with more of Ferrara’s scandals and cover-ups.

Things will never be the same for Ferrara. His reign of terror is over.


While I appreciate your optimism, once a bully, always a bully. Maybe no longer to the cops, but the the city itself…without question. You can’t change the spots on a leopard. He needed to go. His presence is like a cancer.

Having said that however, the citizens have spoken. Obviously the majority enjoys the oligarchy form of governance that the Mayor has created.

Like I said, it’s a sad day for Arroyo Grande

Marlon Brando said it best in Elia Kasan’s “On the Waterfront”….(Arroyo speaking)

“You don’t understand. We coulda had class. We coulda been a contender. We coulda been somebody.”


Hi Pelican, Hold out hope. Tony won’t last much longer. It is only temporary.


Pelican1, Much like his buddy the mayor of Morro Bay Jamie Irons




“In the mayor race, in 721 votes a bubble was not filled in leading the vote to be determined blank. If Jim Hill’s name is on the line, even though the box is not checked, in a recount the vote will go to Hill.”

TIME TO HAND COUNT! We still have a chance!


Partisan to the end! Perhaps 721 people just didn’t vote for mayor. A considerably higher percentage of people actually voted for mayor than for two of the council candidates.

Hill did a phenomenal job as a write in candidate! Instead of wasting tine and money on a recount, start building the base for a victory next election.


Or start working on the recall.


Lets get the write-in unbubbled votes counted first. Jim Hill and his supporters wormed hard for those votes, so lets make sure they are included in the fin count.