The San Luis Obispo County Tribune has declared write-in candidate Jim Hill as the winner in the race to represent Arroyo Grande as the city’s mayor. Hill received 3,090 votes to incumbent Tony Ferrara’s 2,995.

The stunning upset signifies an end to Ferrara’s 12-year stint on the Arroyo Grande City Council.

As soon as results are certified by SLO County elections officials, Ferrara will also need to resign from his newly-elected post as President of the CA League of Cities.

For information on how exactly an upstart write-in candidate managed to defeat a longtime incumbent, please read the full story here and check out previous developments below.

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Could longtime Arroyo Grande Mayor Tony Ferrara be at risk of losing his council seat over this summer’s city manager debacle?

As of the afternoon of November 7, 2014, the San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder reports (in the unofficial election results document, view here) that incumbent Tony Ferrara is trailing his opponent, write-in candidate Jim Hill, by a mere 43 votes in the race for Mayor of Arroyo Grande. 100% of precincts have reported, though due the small margin an announcement and certification from the Clerk-Recorder is needed to confirm the official results.


Ferrara came under fire this summer for his handling of an incident this summer, when suspicions were raised over an after hours incident involving City Manager Steve Adams (who has since resigned) and Arroyo Grande’s Community Services Director. The subsequent investigation led to the city’s police union issuing a vote of no confidence against the City Manager and Mayor.

Jim Hill has lived in San Luis Obispo County for over thirty years and has served two terms on the Oceano Community Services District board. Hill qualified on Sept. 26 as a write-in candidate after residents approached him to challenge the sitting mayor.

The Arroyo Grande police union threw their collective support behind Hill early in October.

Clerk-Recorder Julie Rodewald anticipated a turnout rate of over 50%. According to the San Luis Obispo Tribune, returns from the outlying areas of SLO County have caused a delay in the vote-tallying process.

The Clerk-Recorder’s office has yet to release a statement on the outcome.

Ferrara has served on the Arroyo City Council since 1998. If elected, he will serve the coastal city for another two-year term.

Read more at the San Luis Obispo Tribune.