Democrat to challenge Arnold in District 5 race

September 14, 2015
Eric Michielssen

Eric Michielssen

A Pozo rancher has announced he will challenge San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Debbie Arnold, also a Pozo farmer, for the District 5 seat on the board of supervisors.

Eric Michielssen, currently an organic farmer, announced his candidacy during a County Democratic Party Labor Day picnic in Arroyo Grande. Arnold, who has enjoyed support from much of the local agricultural community, is a conservative Republican.

Michielssen said during his Labor Day speech that he is a small farmer, and Arnold is a big farmer. He also said he is better qualified to oversee a large budget.

Michielssen previously worked for 17 years as a broker, asset manager and counselor at People’s Self-Help Housing. He has also worked as a school teacher and as a developer, as well as in a role for a union while teaching, Michielssen said during the speech.

The Democratic candidate particularly takes issue with a vote Arnold cast earlier this year in favor of a proposed Santa Margarita rock quarry. Arnold cast one of the two votes in support of the project, which the supervisors rejected.

The quarry would produce up to 500,000 tons of rock a year on a property along Highway 58 about three miles outside of Santa Margarita. Opponents argue it would create too much truck traffic and noise.

Public opinion on the project was split.

District 5 consists of Atascadero, California Valley, Creston, Garden Farms, Pozo, Santa Margarita and parts of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and Templeton. CalCoastNews reported earlier this year that Republicans edge Democrats in the district by about 3,974 registered voters.

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A couple of “pozo’s” running for political office. Shocker.

A terrific candidate.

Good to see some competition, and that Michiellssen is keeping it substantive,

Forget the phony labeling and stick to issues.

My favorite quote of the whole article is: “Michielssen said during his Labor Day speech that he is a small farmer, and Arnold is a big farmer. He also said he is better qualified to oversee a large budget.”

People with small farms shouldn’t attempt to run for office. What gives him the freaking right to think he can make decisions? He probably keeps track of money on a sketch pad while Debbie probably has a fancy calculator and a lot of Excel files. Debbie, you didn’t have my vote, then I found out your farm is bigger than Eric’s.

Whenever I’m not sure who to vote for, I head on over to CCN for articles filled with journalistic objectivity and professionalism.

Broker, teacher, developer, asset manager, as well as farmer and you think Arnold is better qualified? Really? Arnold is not exactly the brightest bulb in the bunch; she probably has someone run her “fancy calculator” for her.

That what he need in the North County. another Jim Patterson Liberal! We got rid of that bozo, have to deal with traitor Frank and certainly don’t need another Hill or Gibson regardless of how nice hr is. We are trying to bail out from under the Demo’s dicatorship, we don’t need to go backworkds.

My check is in the mail Debbie!

It looks like his suit is sheeps clothing.

All I needed to here was that this guy was some kind of union official. Glad there are almost 4,000 more votes that will probably go to Arnold.

Great. A labor thug turned rancher. Made his money on the backs of workers so now he can start reaping the benefits as an oligarch socialist.

Yea, needs more government money and benefits. Demcrats/Socialiat/Marx just never get enough. Amazing who hard they have worked to destroy America in the name of equality!

Just slap a Hill or Gibson sticker on his back so we know who really is running.

Apparently you just can’t see past that “D” after Eric’s name; isn’t that the same as someone opining that anyone with an “R” behind their name is the same as any other Republican?

I am a very liberal, left-leaning voter, but I have respected a lot of what Debbie Arnold has done as one of our county supervisors; her vote on the quarry project was troubling for a lot of people though, as it is my understanding that almost everyone living in Santa Margarita was pretty adamant in opposition to the quarry project, so a lot of people where left wondering where Debbie’s head was during that vote.

I served on one board with Eric Michielssen; he listens, he responds thoughtfully, and isn’t afraid to change his mind if he is swayed with a good argument or new facts that are presented. I think he would be a great supervisor, and I know he would not be any sort of “clone” of either supervisor Hill or Gibson. Let the man say his piece before he pass judgement on him.

Whoops- “… before you pass judgement on him.”

Then why even mention a political party, are not supervisor seats supposed to be non-partisan?

If you believe that I’ve got some land in Florida I’d like to interest you in. One has been able to place a solid D or R after the name of every SLO County supervisor the entire period of my entire adult life. Beyond that would require some research. The fact is however, that both Debbie and Eric are genuinely nice, personable, open-minded, and without a personal agenda. A political agenda? Well yes, but that’s no Man-Bites-Dog story. I’d take either over a Hill, Gibson, or Meacham in that order.

I think because Eric choose a democrat sponsored event he is making his “I represent the democrat party” stance, just as Debbie attends many republican sponsored events. I have known Eric personally for many years and although I consider him a good guy, I would not vote for him for supervisor. He leans strongly to the left on many issues and rarely sees perspectives different from his own.

Downvoting you based on your use of “democrat sponsored” and “democrat party”

A democrat is a democrat and they are destroying this County, State and certainly this Country!

I firmly believe the destruction of this country is not by any one political party but by the extremes of both parties. Both ends have their money backers they are beholden to, and to keep the money people happy and funneling $$$$ into the campaigns those on both ends have to keep doing what 1%’s (on both sides) tell them to do.

You are wrong, only the Democrats are bad. When the Republicans insist on new military programs the military DOES NOT WANT, or insist that government health programs CANNOT negotiate prices like private insurers for drugs and must pay up to 300x the going rate in exchange for Republican approval of benefits that would be more profitably paid in the ER and not at the GP it is good.