John Ashbaugh | Updates |

County Clerk Posts Final Vote Totals for November 6 Election

The County Clerk/Recorder’s Office has just posted the final election results for the City of San Luis Obispo, and they reveal an interesting pattern. The primary result, of course, is that both I and my colleague, Dan Carpenter, were elected to the two seats on the City Council. Dan drew 9,048 votes (31.16% of the 29,201 total votes case), and I held my place with 8,848 votes (30.3%). Remaining votes were split between Jeff Aranguena (5,775 votes, 19.78%); Kevin Rice (4,613 or 15.8%), and Matt Strzepek (731, 2.5%).

Mayor Jan Marx was re-elected with a resounding 61.42% of the 17,912 votes cast for the Mayor’s race; challenger Steve Barasch obtained only 30.18% of the vote with Donald Hedrick at 7.86%. Congratulations, Jan!

Congratulations are due to my colleague, Dan Carpenter, who held a slight lead over me. Of interest to me were several salient facts:

1. The Clerk/Recorder counted a total of 20,865 ballots cast in the City. If every ballot had cast two votes for Council, there would have been 41,730 total votes. However, only 29,201 votes were recorded for any of the five candidates. Thus, there is a “leakage” of 12,529 votes in this “down-ticket” race, amounting to about 30% of the total votes. Many voters failed to cast either of their two votes (we can’t know just how many); others voted only for one candidate, a practice known as “bullet” voting.

2.  If every voter who cast a vote for the Mayor’s race (17,912) had also cast TWO votes for the Council candidates as allowed, there would have been 35,824 total votes. The figure of 29,201 votes cast in the Council race means that as many as 7,112 voters used “bullet voting” (although in all likelihood, at least 15-20% of the Mayoral race voters probably cast NO votes for the Council seats, perhaps as a protest or simply because of fatigue or simple neglect: The Council candidates were the last set of candidates featured on their ballot.

3. Dan Carpenter was fortunate in having his name placed first on the ballot; Jeff Aranguena was second and “John Ashbaugh” appeared third in the field of five names.

4. I actually received more votes at the polling place than Dan – 3,309 voersus 3,264. Vote-by-Mail voters, however, went for Mr. Carpenter over myself by 5,834 to 5,539 – and the “VBM” votes amounted to 60% of the total votes cast in our race.

Either way you slice it, it was an interesting election and I want once again to thank everyone who cast a ballot in the City of San Luis Obispo – especially those 8,848 voters who supported me. Overall turnout was almost 80% countywide, which is a good-to-excellent turnout and shows an active interest in our democratic processes.

Councilman Ashbaugh Thanks Voters, Supporters, Volunteers

What a great feeling last night to experience the thrill of victory,  surrounded by friends and supporters, watching the national and statewide returns and sharing in one of the greatest turning points in American history!

I was so proud to be on the same ballot – and seeking re-election with such great people as President Barack Obama, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senator-Elect Bill Monning, and Congresswoman Lois Capps.I congratulate all of them, as well as my colleagues on the City Council, Mayor Jan Marx and Dan Carpenter. 

Lest anybody doubt the power of their individual vote, look at the margin between Democrat Ami Bera and incumbent Republican Congressman Dan Lungrent in Congressional District 7 in Sacramento County – 188 votes out of almost 180,000 cast! So far, Ami Bera is on top, and persoanlly I hope that it will stay that way as they recount the votes.

Again, many thanks to my supporters, my terrific campaign team, and the VOTERS of the City of San Luis Obispo. For now, it’s back to work – in fact, I just came back from a late Council meeting on Wednesday, and we have another scheduled for each of the next two Tuesdays!

Councilman Ashbaugh with Congresswoman Capps, Victoria Kennedy

On a beautiful Friday evening on the Shell Beach bluffs overloooking San Luis Bay, Councilman John Ashbaugh and his wife Patricia were

Congresswoman Lois Capps, Victoria Kennedy, and Laura Capps in Pismo Beach

in attendance as Congresswoman Lois Capps hosted Victoria Kennedy. This photo includes Laura Capps, who introduced her mother. Laura had worked for the late Senator Kennedy, and Victoria noted that Laura was one of the first ones at Kennebunkport to comfort Victoria in the hours after the Senator had passed away in 2010. We will always remember the “Lion of the Senate,” and his presence was felt that evening for the guests at the home of local attorney Steven Saldo. Thanks go out to Lois Capps and to Steven Saldo, and especially to Victoria Kennedy, for making it such a special evening.