Moreno leads in race for SLO County supervisor campaign contributions

August 5, 2023

Atascadero Mayor Heather Moreno


With three San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisor seats up for grabs, the four candidates running are raking in cash and fervently campaigning.

Campaign finance reports for the first half of 2023 show Atascadero Mayor Heather Moreno outpacing her opponent Atascadero Councilwoman Susan Funk in fundraising for the District 5 race. Moreno collected $142,768 in donations while Funk raised $92,816 in monetary and non-monetary donations.

In the District 1 and District 3 races, incumbent supervisors John Peschong and Dawn Ortiz-Legg are currently running unopposed. But that could change if new candidates join the races.

District 1

Supervisor John Peschong

The district runs inland from the Monterey County line to Templeton and includes Paso Robles, San Miguel, Shandon and a part of Templeton. Peschong raised $32,598 in cash and non-monetary contributions between Jan. 1 and June 30.

Colin Weyrick, the owner of multiple companies involved in lumber, gravel, sand and trucking, donated $5,500 to Peschong, the largest of his campaign.

The second largest donation to Peschong’s campaign came from Anthony Riboli, with Riboli Family Wines. After Riboli acquired Jada Vineyard & Winery in 2021, his neighbors began reporting him as a nuisance to the county because of the loud wind machine he put in next to a neighbor’s home.

District 3

SLO County Supervisor Dawn Ortiz-Legg

When former District 3 Supervisor Adam Hill committed suicide in 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Ortiz-Legg to finish his term. Even though she won the 2022 battle to finish Hill’s term, that term ends in Dec. 2024.

The district includes Grover Beach, Pismo Beach and a portion of San Luis Obispo. Ortiz-Legg raised $9,500 in cash and non-monetary contributions from two donors between Jan. 1 and June 30.

Both of Ortiz-Legg’s donors in this election are tied to the energy industry, while the supervisor is currently involved in negotiations over where to build industrial facilities to support the offshore wind industry.

A union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, donated $7,500 to Ortiz-Legg. Bruce Severance, who donated $2,000, is an energy and policy analyst involved in coordinating energy infrastructure studies.

District 5

Atascadero Councilwoman Susan Funk

The district includes Atascadero, Santa Margarita and portions of Templeton and San Luis Obispo. District 5generally leans Republican, though the county is currently reporting a political makeup based on district boundaries that no longer exist.

Moreno, a Republican, and Funk, a Democrat, are vying to fill the seat currently held by Supervisor Debbie Arnold, who elected not to run for reelection.

Between Jan. 1 and June 30, Moreno raised $142,768 in cash and non-monetary donations. A total of 11 donors contributed at least $5,500 to Moreno.

The top contribution Moreno received in 2023 came from Peggy Lance Little, a retired woman who donated $11,198.

Moreno received a $6,000 contribution from Jamie Jones, a consultant who regularly brings her clients’ projects to the Board of Supervisors. Jamie Jones’ husband Tom Jones donated an additional $5,500.

Between Jan. 1 and June 30, Funk raised $92,816 in cash and non-monetary donations.

Funk’s largest donor, her Funk for City Council campaign war chest, donated $5,942. Three donors, an electrical workers’ union, Dorthy Funk and Carla Haynie, each donated $5,500.

Multiple proponents of prohibiting vehicles from driving on the Oceano Dunes, including SLO County supervisors Bruce Gibson and Jimmy Paulding, Oceano CSD Director Charles Varni, Tom Fulks and Larry Allen, donated to Funk’s campaign.

If a candidate for supervisor receives more than 50 percent of the vote in the upcoming March 5 primary, they will win the election outright. If no one in a district race wins in March, the top two candidates will head to a November runoff.

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Peshong and Ortiz-Legg are a given. What would be your opening line on Moreno/Funk be? I say Moreno -135, at least, meaning if you were able to bet on the supervisor’s race, and we should be able to, as well as boosting voter turnout, you would have to wager $135 to win $100 on Moreno and a $100 bet on Funk would pay $135 (of course minus the 10% vig in either case). Once the opening line is set the odds will be market-driven as the wagers come. And why is “vig” spell-checked? Don’t computers know anything?