SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. – It's a "Battle of the Bruces" in San Luis Obispo County District 2: incumbent Bruce Gibson faces off against challenger Dr. Bruce Jones.
"I have the knowledge of county government, the understanding, the relationships, the experience to really take on the serious problems that confront us," said Gibson.
"I represent the values of North County. I support and want to fund law enforcement. I do care about the homeless situation. I do care about water," said Jones.
While they may share the same name, there is a big difference in experience.
Gibson has served 15 years as Supervisor, while Jones, a retired orthopedic surgeon, has limited local government service.
“You really need to have an understanding of how county government can be applied to a solution, and to have relationships because we've got to work with other elected officials, community members and agencies," said Gibson.
"I believe in term limits. I think he's been there too long. I do have experience that will make me an effective Supervisor day one. I served on the Templeton area advisory group. Also, I served on the board of a large nonprofit hospital,” said Jones.
The issues facing the county are many, but both agree homelessness is especially important.
“I will work hard to come up with solutions for our failed polices on dealing with the homeless issue," said Jones.
“I'm really proud to have been leading the board to develop a new approach to taking on our homeless issues. In five years, our goal is to cut homelessness in half," said Gibson.
Both agree water is also a key issue.
Gibson adds so is housing costs, while Jones wants to streamline the planning department.
The outcome of this race will determine the new board majority.
With Jimmy Paulding elected for District 4 in June, and set to take office in January, the new board has two supervisors who are liberal, the other two conservative, so this will be tip the balance, making the election important for all of San Luis Obispo County.
“We've seen a failure of the current board majority in taking on the issues. With Jimmy Paulding coming in, I know we can actually make some progress,” said Gibson.
“I will be that Supervisor that is anti-corruption and honest, the kind of supervisor the people of District 2 deserve," said Jones.
The June primary featured four candidates: Gibson earned 47% of the vote, while Jones was a distinct second with 18%.
"I am confident in winning this time around. We've been really well received over here in the inland parts of the new district, and so I am feeling like we're heading absolutely in the right direction," said Gibson.
"Three of the four candidates were conservative candidates and I believe those folks who voted for conservative candidates will again vote for conservative candidates. I do believe I will win this election," said Jones.
Who ever does win will fill the District 2 seat in January.