A third candidate has entered the SLO County District Attorney race as a write-in. Defense attorney Paul Phillips entered the race because he feels that both candidates are just business-as-usual and that being the one candidate outside the DA’s office gives him a fresh perspective. Phillips believes that both candidates would have difficulty in running the office because Covello lacks the endorsements of those underneath him at the DA’s office, while Dan Dow doesn’t have the experience needed.
Phillips also views both candidates’ hard line stance on crime to be creating a bigger need for plea bargains and alternate sentences, which increases prison populations. He plans on campaigning for positive change. Cal Poly political science professor Michael Latner says that Phillips will likely play the role of spoiler, taking away votes that could prevent either candidate from reaching the 50% threshold needed to avoid a runoff in November. Phillips won’t be an official candidate until he submits 20 signatures supporting him by May 20.