Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
Get the facts before you vote.
Brought to you by
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
California State Library@CAStateLibrary
June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election
Invest in unbiased information

With your support, we can reach and inform more voters.

Donate now to spread the word.


San Luis Obispo CountyCandidate for Supervisor, Supervisorial District 3

Photo of Debbie Peterson

Debbie Peterson

Business Owner
3,452 votes (26.27%)
Use tab to activate the candidate button. Use "return" to select this candidate. You can access your list by navigating to 'My Choices'.
For more in-depth information on this candidate, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.
Candidate has provided information.
Thank candidate for sharing their information on Voter's Edge.

My Top 3 Priorities

  • Infrastructure - long term plan for a sustainable water supply countywide, and a viable plan to fund road improvements
  • Economic Vitality - evaluate impacts of closure of Diablo and create a plan to for when it happens, with a focus on clean energy, head of household jobs, and affordable housing
  • Homelessness - address the problems that lead to homelessness - mental health, addiction, slow progress in disability application processing, veteran health care, and the high cost/unavailability of housing



REALTOR, Peterson Team Realty (1998–current)
Mayor, City of Grover Beach — Elected position (2012–2014)
City Council Member, City of Grover Beach — Elected position (2008–2012)
Planning Commissioner, City of Grover Beach Planning Commission — Appointed position (2004–2008)
Partner, Peterson & Sudano (1997–2000)
Owner, Peterson & Associates (1995–1999)
CEO and Founder, California Cake & Cookie Limited (1983–1995)


University of Idaho BS Communications, Public Relations (1979)
University of Idaho Bachelor of Science, Communications - Public Relations (1979)
University of Idaho Bachelor of Science, communications - public relations (1979)

Community Activities

Board Member, San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (2012–2014)
Board Member, SLO County Economic Vitality Corporation (2010–2014)
Board Member, SLO County Air Pollution Control District (2012–2013)
Board Member, Visit SLO County (2008–2012)
Chairperson, City of Grover Beach Planning Commission (2006–2008)


I have nearly 40 years of business experience in California and Great Britain. Following graduation from college I helped my mother launch her business (The Brownie Baker), baking my grandmother's recipes for cakes and cookies, after which I traveled to Scotland to work abroad for a couple of years. I worked with two advertising agencies and a bank researching new products and creating public relations campaigns. During that time my mother's company became quite successful and I realized the same business model might work well in Great Britain. I took a 16 week entrepreneurship course at Glasgow University and launched my own California Cake & Cookie. My two year plan to work abroad extended to nearly 20 years, during which time I built an award-winning company and became the number one 'Forty Under 40' Young Business Person.

By the time I sold my company to a management buy-in in 1993, I was employing 95 people in a London distribution center, trucking company, two subsidiaries and the bakery in Glasgow, with annual sales of $6,000,000 to airlines, supermarkets, and independent retailers and caterers. 

Following the sale of my company I spent several years consulting for redevelopment agencies throughout Britain as a toubleshooter for manufacturing companies past their prime, and with start up businesses to create business and marketing plans to finance their businesses.

In 1998 I returned to California and my mother and I formed Peterson Team Realty, based in Grover Beach.

I returned to California in order to raise my son near family, and am so grateful for the wonderful experience it has been for him to grow up in San Luis Obispo County. He is in his second year of college now studying music and computer science.


Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • SLO Council of Elected Democrats
  • Association of Builders & Contractors Central Coast Chapter
  • Marcia Alter

Individuals (4)

  • Stewart Jenkins
  • Peter Keith
  • Wilda Rosene
  • Jack Kean

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

The longer I served as a local elected representative the more passionate I became about the ideals espoused in our Constitution - free speech, vigorous discourse, transparency. This drives my commitment to good stewardship of the trust the public places in their elected representatives. Although democracy grinds slowly, I am often delighted by the outcome of public engagement and seek every opportunity to increase it because we cannot represent our communities if we don't have their input.

Position Papers

Should Wild Cherry Canyon be Developed?




The Friends of Wild Cherry Canyon asked the following. My response follows. 

Friends : "We have been asked where the three District 3 Supervisor candidates (Dan Carpenter, Adam Hill, and Debbie Peterson) stand on the conservation and/or development of Wild Cherry Canyon. Rather than try to piece together their various statements on the topic, we thought we'd ask the candidates themselves to respond.

Candidates, where do you stand on the conservation and/or development of Wild Cherry Canyon?"


Debbie Peterson: "It has implications on many levels. I launched my campaign at the gate of Wild Cherry Canyon to make the point that I am opposed to development of Wild Cherry Canyon, and was the first of the three candidates to do so. Here's why:

1. The voters gave their mandate in 2000 - 75% voted in favor of the land use advisory DREAM Initiative that calls on county leaders to set aside the Diablo lands for habitat preservation, agriculture and public use. The only way I would support over-riding a vote of the people is if the people vote again and overturn it.


2. The infrastructure cannot support large-scale Avila Beach development.
- Calfire is opposed to large scale development in the area due to constrained ingress and egress.
- There is not a sustainable water supply to support development."

Videos (4)

Arroyo Grande Grover Beach Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum — May 9, 2016 Arroyo Grande Grover Beach Chamber of Commerce

Questions of all three candidates for the SLO County District 3 Supervisor Race, including questions on Diablo Nuclear Power Plant, Affordable Housing, Planning & Permit Process, Experience with the Coastal Commission, top candidate priorities, willingness to submit to drug testing.

A Town Hall style 'debate' where the public asked questions of the candidate on issues of relevance in Avila Beach and San Luis Obispo County.

Local residents state briefly why they are supporting Debbie Peterson for SLO District 3 Supervisor.

KSBY compilation of interviews with Debbie Peterson, candidate for SLO District 3 supervisor.

Please share this site to help others research their voting choices.