Caren Ray to launch political comeback
June 30, 2016
Former San Luis Obispo County supervisor Caren Ray is attempting to launch a political comeback. Ray announced Wednesday that she is vying to reclaim a seat on the Arroyo Grande City Council.
Ray, a Santa Maria High School teacher, served on the Arroyo Grande Council from 2010 to 2013. In 2013, Gov. Jerry Brown appointed her to the board of supervisors following the death of Paul Teixeira. As a member of the county board, Ray was an ally of supervisors Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson.
In 2014, Ray ran for county supervisor but lost to Lynn Compton. Despite having served several years in office, Ray has yet to win an election in which she had to defeat an opponent.
Ray was appointed to the Arroyo Grande council in 2010. She then ran for a council seat in 2012 but did not have to defeat an opponent in order to claim victory.
This year, the seats belonging to Councilwoman Kristen Barneich and Councilman Jim Guthrie are up for election. Barneich has announced she is running for reelection. Guthrie has not indicated whether he will do so.
Mayor Jim Hill is also running for reelection. Ray is not aligned with Hill politically and is considered an ally of Barneich. Some speculated Ray would run for mayor, not council, this year. No one other than Hill has thus far entered the mayoral race.
“The city’s current mayor and council have really been struggling over the past two years,” Ray stated in a press release. “Trying to lead by looking in the rear-view mirror won’t work. It’s time to move the city forward again.
In Nov. 2014, Hill defeated longtime Arroyo Grande Mayor Tony Ferrara, despite running as a write-in candidate. Hill’s victory came amid a city hall sex scandal that also led to the resignation of then-city manager Steve Adams.
Since Adams resigned in early 2015, Arroyo Grande has had one full-time city manger and two interim managers. The council voted unanimously to fire City Manager Dianne Thompson on Tuesday.