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Newcomers leading school board races, according to unofficial election results 

election school board paso robles

Hiteshew, Cogan, Williams lead races

– Three newcomers are leading the races for the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees. With all precincts reporting early this morning, the San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder’s unofficial election results show Adelita Hiteshew, Jim Cogan, and Sondra Williams ahead.


Adelita Hiteshew

Paso Robles Joint Unified School District, Governing Board Member (Partial Term)
ADELITA HITESHEW, 3,103 votes, 38.33%
LAURENE D. MCCOY, 2,925 votes, 36.13%
JIM IRVING, 2,063 votes, 25.48%

Adelita Hiteshew, a longtime Paso Robles resident, graduated from Paso Robles High School in 1999. She has three children currently enrolled in the district. She has been a community volunteer, owner of an in-home daycare, worked as a paraeducator, and has served on PTA boards.

“This campaign has been a community effort,” Hiteshew wrote to her supporters last night. “So many people came together to build something that we can all be proud of. I would like to take a moment to wholeheartedly thank each and every one of you.”

Jim Cogan Paso Robles

Jim Cogan

Paso Robles Joint Unified School District, Governing Board Member, Trustee Area 1
JIM COGAN, 750 votes, 48.26%
CHRISTOPHER AREND, 424 votes, 27.28%
PETER BYRNE, 380 votes, 24.45%

Cogan is a local business owner and parent of two students in the school district. He worked as assistant city manager for the City of Paso Robles. His victory would be an upset for incumbent trustee Chris Arend.

“If the numbers hold it looks like we won and I am excited for the statement of community support our win represents for our students, families, and staff,” Cogan said this morning. “Good campaigns are about ideas and our ‘#studentsfirst’ message that we can and will address student learning loss to get our kids performing at grade level, enhance athletics and extracurriculars, and improve communication with families struck a cord in Paso. This is a statement that Paso has chosen collaboration over division, service over political agendas, and inspiration over fear. I want to thank all of the volunteers and supporters who did the hard work of walking precincts, calling/texting voters, and writing postcards. Now let’s get to work!”

Incumbent Arend acknowledged his defeat. “I am not surprised at the result in Area 1 after the Republican Party of San Luis Obispo endorsed Peter Byrne,” Arend said this morning. “In any event, I am pleased to have been of service to the PRJUSD during some very rough sailing in the last four years, and I wish the district and the new board all the best.”

sondra williams

Sondra Williams

Paso Robles Joint Unified School District, Governing Board Member, Trustee Area 4
SONDRA WILLIAMS, 630 votes, 42.74%
FRANK TRIGGS, 517, votes 35.07%
CATHERINE REIMER, 324 votes, 21.98%

Williams is a registered nurse,  school volunteer, youth cheer director, and community leader. Her victory would be an upset for incumbent Frank Triggs.

“As I watch the election results come in, I am truly honored,” said Williams this morning. “I care so deeply for this community and this district. As the days continue and the results are certified, I would be honored to serve on this school board. I commend the community for being open to change, and committing to getting our district back on track to being a respectable body!”

The San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder typically issues certified election results in the weeks following the election. An unknown number of late mail-in ballots still need to be added to the totals.

Former Trustee Joel Peterson filed for the Area 2 trustee seat. He ran unopposed and was not on the ballot.

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About the author: Publisher Scott Brennan

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog.