Jimmy Paulding wins SLO County supervisor seat, board majority undecided

July 2, 2022

Jimmy Paulding


Arroyo Grande resident Jimmy Paulding has won the District 4 Board of Supervisors’ seat displacing incumbent Lynn Compton, which places the board majority at stake as Bruce Gibson and Bruce Jones head to a runoff in November.

Even though the board seats are nonpartisan, in our nation’s politically polarized environment voters generally select candidates along party lines. The supervisors control land-use and governmental issues such as cannabis regulations and money set aside for public safety.

Union money along with a late infusion of cash from a political action committee run by Mollie Culver, a longtime Democratic strategist and cannabis consultant from Santa Barbara, helped Paulding significantly outspend his opponent. Central Coast Residents for Good Government, Culver’s political action committee, was primarily funded by people associated with the Ernst Law Group.

Attorney Don Ernst recently received a multi-million dollar contract from County Counsel Rita Neal’s office, a contract Compton has contested.

On the other side, another political action committee, Back the Badge, mailed fliers critical of Paulding in support of Compton. Developer Nick Tompkins, who has a large project in the Nipomo area working its way through the system, helped fund the pro-Compton committee.

In January, Paulding will take his seat alongside fellow liberal Dawn Ortiz-Legg and Republicans Debbie Arnold and John Peschong.

Gibson, a Democrat, is headed to a runoff with Dr. Bruce Jones, a Republican, in the Nov. 8 midterm election. Anticipate well-funded and aggressive campaigns from both sides.

After nearly a month of sporadic counting, the San Luis Obispo County Clerk’s Office finished tallying the majority of the ballots on Friday. With only 262 ballots remaining to be counted, these are the winners in the primary election:

SLO County District 2 Supervisor

With 47.63% of the vote, Supervisor Bruce Gibson is headed to a runoff with Dr. Bruce Jones, the second place candidate.

SLO County District 3 Supervisor

The voters elected Supervisor Dawn Ortiz-Legg to continue representing District 3 for the next two years.

SLO County District 4 Supervisor

Attorney Jimmy Paulding will take his seat in January, with 51.53% of the vote.

SLO County Clerk Recorder

Appointed last year, Elaina Cano easily held her seat.

SLO County Superior Court Judge # 12

Deputy District Attorney Mike Frye, the voters’ favorite, is headed to the bench.

Oceano fire tax (2/3 needed to pass)

For a second time, the voters of Oceano rejected the proposed fire tax.

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He cheated. Non Partisian, democrat and republican all in the sane year. The cheat cheated. Jimmy is a douche and fraud , just like Joe Biden

Cheated how?

You could file one of those lawsuits. Call the pillow guy, I bet he has some names of lawyers who will jump right on to those hanging chads.

Jimmy Paulding is a breath of fresh air among local politicians. The central coast will benefit greatly as Mr. Paulding rises up the political ladder to greater and greater prominence and success. He is the proverbial local boy who has made good. We should do all we can to support that. Jimmy Paulding is a good man. Anyone who has spent quality time with him knows that.

I have a concern that he can champion: Since County Council represents Staff, fielding their judgement which ultimately funds staff pay raises, where is the County Council for the other side, the general public? Can we fund a legal council that affords representation for the public benefit such as infrastructure and impacts on private property? If this can be done by the same, where is the appeal process that is funded by the general budget? I believe there needs to be an awakening for the protection of personal responsibility, not legal council for the sole purpose of justifying costly governance.

That would be the civil grand jury. Sadly, it has no subpoena power or enforcement tools. It just does an investigation (typically by well-meaning amateurs, and possibly with help from a DA Investigator, which is rare), and creates a report that the county is not legally required to respond or react to. Depending on the CAO, the report can be taken seriously or dismissed in total. There is no penalty, other than the court of public opinion to disregard or disparage the jury. Only CCN will hold the county to the fire. So the county disparages CCN.

The current CAO is part of the problem. The administration is entrenched and many department heads are palace guards of the CAO. They in turn have put their own palace guards in place. This is why there is no recourse or solutions available to the private citizen. I have never seen such entrenched disfunction in the 40 years of living in this county.

Rita Neal knows where all the bodies are buried, ergo never a blink from the BOS or CAO when she asks for a raise for her or her staff, all of whom are paid way more than the attorneys in the DA’s office. Also never a blink when they hire outside counsel for pretty much everything.