Mayor Heidi Harmon blows a gasket at candidate forum

July 30, 2018

Mayor Heidi Harmon

San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon threw her microphone on a table, yelled she was done, and stomped out of a mayoral candidates forum on Thursday evening. The event was hosted by the SLO Progressives, a group she helped form. [Cal Coast Times]

SLO mayoral candidates Harmon and Keith Gurnee fielded questions from the audience covering multiple issues including low-cost housing, the proposed Santa Margarita quarry, campaign finance reform, and with whom they socialize.

When asked about the proposed quarry, Harmon took credit for stopping a rail spur that would have increased oil train trips through SLO County before attempting to paint mining for aggregate with the same brush.

Gurnee, who has worked with proponents of the quarry, said he is in favor of its approval because having another local quarry would help reduce greenhouse gasses. Using the recent repairs to Highway 1 as an example, Gurnee spoke of the environmental consequences and expense of having aggregate trucked in from quarries four to five hours away.

Several attendees generated questions that attempted to denigrate Gurnee for having Republican friends and for writing letters to CalCoastNews. After members of the audience booed Gurnee for attending SLO County Supervisor Lynn Compton’s election night party, he responded saying he “was proud of it.”

T. Keith Gurnee

T. Keith Gurnee

“Lynn Compton is an old friend, and I stick by my friends,” Gurnee told Cal Coast Times.

Harmon wasn’t the only attendee who acted uncivil. A vocal crowd booed and shouted as the mayoral candidates responded to questions.

Even though the bulk of the 100 people in attendance were dues-paying SLO Progressives, about a third of the questions were focused on Harmon’s votes to wave building rules for height and parking for several developers. Harmon responded by telling attendees that issues regarding development were complicated and most people do not understand the process, causing several members of the audience to lash out at her.

Speaking loudly, Harmon said she was the only progressive candidate in the room, threw the microphone on the table in front of Gurnee, and stomped out of the room.

“Is that your version of civility?” Gurnee asked.

As Harmon walked out, members of the audience began arguing among themselves.

SLO Progressives Co-Chair Nick Andre asked Gurnee to leave the room so that attendees could discuss the candidates. Only dues-paying members of the SLO Progressives were permitted to vote to endorse candidates.

In the end, 81 percent of the SLO Progressives in attendance voted to endorse Harmon, a co-chair of their organization. Of the 19 percent who did not vote to endorse Harmon, 10 percent voted to endorse Gurnee and 9 percent were undecided.


Acta I agree with you 100%.


Many SLO City moderates and conservtive voted for Ms. Harmon, myself included, during the last election. We felt that ANYONE was better than incumbent Jan Marx. We were wrong. Dead wrong.

While Ms. Marx certainly carried a great deal of negative baggage, at least she seemed capable of functioning as mayor of SLO. Ms. Harmon on the other hand simply lacks the ability and background to do the job. She’s unfit for office. Ms. Harmon was a bored, spectacularly ill-prepared individual who was looking for attention. She achieved her dream by something like 60 votes. Shame on us who voted for her.

No, Ms. Harmon, you’re not fooling us and it’s not political. You simply don’t pack the gear to be the Mayor of SLO. You need to go. It really is that simple.

Now we are treated to her unprofessional behavior, the damage that is being inflicted to our beloved city because she clearly doesn’t have a clue about what’s going on, and the thuggish actions of her SLO Progressives brothers and sisters. This needs to change.

We’ll have a chance in a few months to redeem ourselves by voting Ms. Harmon out of office. God help us and our city is we are not successful! In the mean time it would be a good use of one’s time to campaign for anyone running against her.


Harmon and Hill seem to be of the same attiude, when things don’t go their way throw things demean people and leave,but the voters still vote them in not a pretty picture,lets hope the people of San Luis are smarter than voters of the 3rd district and vote Harmon out.


How to “speak” progressive in SLO:

It means facism is fashionable.


Question to SLO “Progressives”: why should Ms. Harmon listen to any of you? Your unwavering support for her candidacy just lets her know that she can take your vote for granted.


Gurnee has my vote…he’s willing to participate and listen in front of a negative audience….glad he showed up for this event. I firmly believe that things are going to change for the better after this election!!


What a joy to watch regressives eat their own!


Anyone who questions Heidi is kicked off her Facebook page. As for the SLO Progressives, they have a private Facebook where they demean women who do not agree with their rhetoric.

If any members link to a CCN article on social media, they are kicked off the private Facebook page for the SLO Progressives. March for women, while at the same time degrading women.


Showed her true colors.Red