Morro Bay Councilwoman Dawn Addis announced Thursday night that she will run against the current incumbent, Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham, in the upcoming 2020 election.
Councilwoman Addis, a Democrat, made her announcement at the San Luis Obispo County Progressives meeting.
“I have been active and engaged in our local issues and encouraging other people to use their voices and run for office,” announced Councilwoman Addis on Thursday. “It’s important to me to lead by example. My record is proven. I’m ready to bring my passion and skills and my action to Sacramento.”
While Addis did not go into what issues or policies she would address on the campaign trail, she did say that she would be focuses on the people of the Central Coast.
“I believe I can make a true difference in the lives of the people of the Central Coast,” said Addis. “I’m ready to bring the importance of the Central Coast to Sacramento as the true asset it is to California.”
Addis, who is less than two years into her first term as a Morro Bay Councilwoman, will be running in the 35th Assembly District, which includes San Luis Obispo County and part of Santa Barbara County.
Her challenger, Cunningham, has been an Assemblyman for the district since 2016. While his track record has been to the right on the majority of issues, he has also been shown to work with Democrats at the Capitol in issues like expanding renewable energy and giving support to bills that favor small businesses over corporations.
While his maverick tendencies and criticism of the Trump administration have raised eyebrows among some Republicans, Cunningham has proved himself to be a popular Assemblyman, winning against Democrat Bill Ostrander 56% to 44% in 2018, a two point jump from his victory in 2016.
“Addis has an uphill battle in the 35th,” said San Luis Obispo County election volunteer Kate Henderson. “I’ve been helping out on elections here since the 90’s, and Cunningham has proven himself to be stable. He has to work against some Republicans calling him out on ‘going against the party’, but he still wins by a good margin. A lot of voters without parties here have said that they like someone who holds their values, but also works with the other side.
Addis isn’t that well known throughout the area, but those that do know hr bring up that Marijuana thing.”
Addis was one of eight candidates endorsed by Helios Dayspring. Members of the Morro Bay government were later accused of favoritism in choosing them to set up in Morro Bay, with Addis herself initially not reporting the fundraiser as a source of election funding.
“We’ll she how she debates and we’ll see what she says she’ll do,” continued Henderson. “But, right now, Cunningham has the track record and some non-partisan tendencies that people here want.
I can sum it up like this: Addis is saying she wants to fight for the people of the Central Coast, but she forgets that Cunningham has shown that he does too.”
The 35th Assembly District Primary will be on Super Tuesday, March 3rd, which both Addis and Cunningham are widely expected to win. The final vote for the seat will be on November 3, 2020.