NewsElection 2022


Three candidates facing off in the race for Arroyo Grande Mayor

Arroyo Grande skies on the brink of spring
Posted at 10:39 PM, Oct 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-24 15:23:51-04

Three candidates with different backgrounds are looking to win over voters in the race for Arroyo Grande Mayor.

Caren Ray Russom has served as mayor since 2018. She is a Central Coast native who teaches world history as well as government and economics at Santa Maria High School.

“I’ve served the city for 17 years, I’ve lived here for over 40, I grew up here. live and breathe the values of Arroyo Grande,” said Mayor Ray Russom.

Gaea Powell describes herself as a constitutional sanctuary city candidate. She works as a business consultant and was part of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s gubernatorial campaign.

“We really need to focus on never allowing government overreach to ever affect our lives the way they have in the last two and a half years,” said Powell.

Dale Hanson has an extensive military background and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He is an advocate for proactive politics.

“I’m a transplant here 21 years ago. I offer a very diversified background,” added Hanson.

Mayor Russom’s top priorities are building a more reliable water supply, repaving deteriorating city streets, and working to update the city’s general plan.

“We haven’t done a comprehensive update since 2001. Just for frame of reference, not everybody even had a cell phone at that time, much less how much the city has changed in the last 20 years,” she told KSBY. “So, that’s not just my vision which is making sure that we can provide affordable housing, that we can make sure we have the water to do what we need to do, that we can take care of our pavement—but also making sure that we maintain our historic character.”

Gaea Powell says she will work to defend the Constitution while advocating for parental rights and competitive police and firefighting pay, among other issues.

“For Arroyo Grande, we’re missing out on some wonderful opportunities to create a tourist destination,” Powell said. “I think our beautiful, historic village needs to be beautified and marketed properly in combination with the historical society.”

Dale Hanson says his top priorities are water, reducing public pension liability, and ethics. He also advocates for taking a proactive approach to the upcoming electric vehicle mandate.

“So, they need to get a plan out there, get grants or whatever it takes to get the charging stations located at the police station and at the service yard and at city,” he said.

Arroyo Grande voters will also decide on a 1% sales tax increase this November.