Primary Voter Guide: Recommendation Rationale
Congressional District 19
Jimmy Panetta is the Democratic incumbent whose district now includes portions of SLO County. While we applaud his cosponsorship of federal Medicare For All bills, his lack of mention of single-payer on his campaign website and large donations from Blue Cross and AHA raise questions about his commitment to fighting for the bill. In a heavily Democratic district where he will surely win re-election, we have decided on a No Recommendation in this race without a candidate who will clearly fight for single payer, a Green New Deal, Housing for All and more socialist values.
Congressional District 24
Salud Carbjal is running for a third term after two elections that he won fairly easily. Redistricting has made his seat even safer and he should cruise to re-election. We appreciate his co-sponsorship of federal Medicare For All legislation after heavy pressure from single-payer activists, but we have serious reservations about some of his votes, especially regarding the military-industrial complex and military spending. In a recent vote, he joined only 44 other Democrats and all Republicans to stop a bill that would require a report on the humanitarian impact of US sanction on Afghanistan, including estimates on deaths and refugees. Because Carbajal should win easily, and a belief that this district can do much better, we have decided on no recommendation in CD 24.
CA Assembly District 30
Recommend: Jon Wizard
Wizard is an active advocate and organizer for affordable housing, showing an understanding and willingness to fight for an issue consistently ranked as the most important by working class Central Coast voters who continue to be priced out of the area. While skeptical of his background as a police officer, his fight for reallocating police funding toward non-carceral approaches led the Seaside Police union to attempt a recall on his city council position, demonstrating a fight for justice lacking in other candidates for this seat. He is a strong supporter of single-payer healthcare, social housing, rent control, and a Green New Deal – a commitment to material benefit for the working class lacking in other candidates for this seat. He is also endorsed by the California Labor Federation and DSA Assembly Member Alex Lee. While Dawn Addis is also vying for the “progressive lane,” her progressive bonafides mainly consist of proclamations rather than legislation. In her 2020 run for the same seat, she sought the endorsement of the Deputy Sheriffs Association in the midst of national Black Lives Matter protests and in this round has accepted money from the Correctional Officers Association. We feel most confident in Wizard’s commitment to fight for our shared values in Sacramento and recommend that all voters in AD30 vote for him.
Congressional District 37
Preferred: Gregg Hart
Santa Barbara District 2 supervisor Gregg Hart is running in the new AD37. While there is little in his voting record to signify a significant commitment to socialist values, his endorsements from organized labor, including the California Teachers Association, SEIU, and United Domestic Workers/AFSCME Local 3930 are enough for us to believe he is the best candidate of the available options.
SLO County Supervisor D2
Preferred: Bruce Gibson
Bruce Gibson represents a solidly Democratic seat on the Board of Supervisors and (at the very least) acknowledges the inefficiency of cops handling mental health crises (though supports them completely). He also shows some concern for environmental issues. All three of his opponents are staunch supporters of law enforcement and police militarization which treats the civilian population like peoples of an occupied enemy, not neighbors. They all also want to oppose nearly any measure protecting our community and the planet from climate change-fueled disasters.
SLO County Supervisor D3
Preferred: Dawn Ortiz-Legg
Dawn Ortiz-Legg has supported some minor reforms in regards to increasing access to public parks and mental health services during her time on the Board, but voted to continue drilling for oil in Arroyo Grande. Even if the board is flipped, her center-right leanings showcase a troubling potential to serve as our own local Joe Manchin/Krysten Sinema. Opponent Stacy Korsgaden has been bigoted, harmful, and unprofessional, with both horrible rhetoric and policy proposals regarding those experiencing homelessness and our minority neighbors and friends. She also participated in spreading the myth of the “stolen” 2020 presidential election and attended the January 6th Capital Insurrection. More than anything, this is a recommendation to vote against Korsgaden and an expression of our belief that those living in this district deserve much better than her or Ortiz-Legg.
SLO County Supervisor D4
Preferred: Jimmy Paulding
The preferred candidate is Jimmy Paulding. Jimmy Paudling does not list any legislative priorities on his website, but another Democrat on the Board in order to flip the majority is better than Compton and opens up possibilities for minor reforms. Current Supervisor Lynn Compton brags about her “fiscal responsibility,” while in reality practicing fiscal irresponsibility by cutting public services, increasing the bloated sheriff’s budget, and somehow still managing to pile up more government debt to benefit corporations and the wealthy. Jimmy’s stance against defunding the police and his lack of a passing grade on reproductive justice from Planned Parenthood, among other messaging to the right, should give all voters serious pause on his actual commitments. He is ultimately better than Lynn Compton, an admittedly low bar to clear.
SLO County Sheriff-Coroner
Running unopposed. Ian Parkinson’s stances in his role of public service have consistently been authoritarian, even fascistic. SLO county would be better off with no sheriff. but would be hard pressed to do worse than Parkinson.
SLO County District Attorney
Dan Dow is running unopposed. His stances have consistently been authoritarian, even fascistic, and the lack of any alternative for this well-compensated position begs serious questions of the liberal political establishment in SLO County.
SLO County Clerk-Recorder
Recommend: Elaina Cano
Cano is the only one with shown experience being a competent clerk-recorder for both Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo county, having government clerk experience since 2004. Our chapter fights for the competent commitment to voter rights, and Cano is the only viable candidate for that position.
SLO County Assessor, Superintendent, ACTTCPA, Judge Office #1, Judge Office #10
All of these races are uncontested, meaning that primarily right-wingers will easily waltz into elected office. For example, Tom Bordonaro Jr. for assessor is quite possibly as Republican as it gets. He is the former chair of the SLO County Republican Central Committee and State Assemblyman. Founder of the Central Coast Taxpayers Association which, among other things, opposes the Chumash Marine Sanctuary. That he has no opposition is another damning indictment of the liberal political establishment.
SLO County Judge Office #12
Preferred: Paul Phillips
In the only competitive race for judge, Mike Frye, boasts of being the choice of law enforcement, is a former prosecutor, and has his endorsement from Dan Dow on the front of his website. This is enough for us to prefer voting against Frye and for Phillips.
Morro Bay City Council
Preferred: Jen Ford
Her opponent has never held any sort of public office, nor been on any community oversight boards or any other political position. Ford was appointed to the seat in September of 2021 after Councilmember Robert “Red” Davis (RIP) passed away. With a minimal voting record in her brief time on the council, her background as a founding member of “Women’s March SLO” will make her solid Democratic seat on the Morro Bay City Council and is the best of the available options.
OSD Ballot Measure A-22
This is a small tax increase to better fund fire and emergency medical services. This will provide 24/7 service to the Oceano Service District. This alone should warrant a yes vote, but the text also adds an independent oversight board and annual reports at the BoS, so this should not be controversial. Fire and EMS are two of the essential services the county provides.
SB County Supervisor D5
Steve Lavagnino is the incumbent and is running unopposed. He was key in bringing the new jail to Santa Maria despite the opposition of community organizers.
SB County Superintendent
Recommend: Susan Salcido
Salcido has the support of local teacher's union. Her opponent recently went viral and appeared on Tucker Carlson claiming to expose the hidden CRT being taught in public schools. The choice here is clear and we highly recommend voters choose to keep Salcido in office, if only to avoid a superintendent who has no place making decision for our public schools.