by Ethan Stewart

The horse race for District Attorney had been agreeably bland to
this point, with most forecasters picking current Assistant DA
Christie Stanley to win in a relative landslide. But bland took a
turn for the bizarre last week for DA hopeful Gary Dunlap when
former Santa Maria City Council candidate Anthony Romero, an ardent
Dunlap supporter seen lately driving a 40-foot RV plastered with
“Dunlap for DA” signs, was stabbed in the chest on the evening of
May 18 while standing outside his parked RV in Santa Maria.
Although his alleged assailant reportedly told police he stabbed
Romero in self-defense, the case was thrown out last week by North
County Deputy DA Mag Nicola, who cited insufficient evidence,
conflicting accounts, and an uncooperative victim. Conspiracy
theorists and bloggers speculated the stabbing was related to the
colorful Dunlap’s $10 million federal lawsuit against the DA’s
office, while Dunlap was quick to call the incident “another
instance of the DA’s incompetence.” Romero was unavailable for
comment. At a candidates’ forum last week Stanley — who said she
had no specific knowledge of the incident — expressed confidence
that her deputy DA acted appropriately.


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