McKinleyville pastor and CR assistant professor Sharon Latour today launched her campaign to unseat Humboldt County 5th District Supervisor Ryan Sundberg. Speaking to a crowd of roughly two dozen spectators from the steps of the county courthouse, Latour focused largely on the ongoing update of the county’s general plan, saying the current board has disregarded years of public input.

In a prepared speech that lasted roughly six and a half minutes, Latour kept returning to the theme of the district’s natural beauty and the importance of policies to protect it. “We are all of us tied to the land, to the forests, the soil and the water,” she said.

Following the speech, Latour took questions from the crowd for more than half an hour, and in the process she seemed to have trouble addressing policy specifics. For example, in the video below, former North Coast Journal editor (and friend of this reporter) Carrie Peyton Dahlberg asks for two or three examples of specific Sundberg votes that Latour disagreed with, and a McKinleyville man asks about the limitations on future development in that town given its aging sewer system.

In both cases Latour returned to generalities about the importance of the general plan, and she said she’ll rely on advisors to help get her up to speed on specifics.

Your LoCO correspondent pointed out that the general plan update could theoretically be complete by next January, when new supervisors (should there be any) get seated, and asked Latour what other priorities she has for the county. She again returned to the importance of the general plan, calling it a “living document,” before lauding the county’s natural beauty and its niche business endeavors, including Humboldt Made.

“This is heaven on earth,” she declared at one point.

More than once Latour acknowledged that she has a lot to learn about county issues and policies. But she said she’s been called a “quick study,” adding that the opportunity to run won’t wait.

“We have a chance now, not in four years,” she said. “I’m willing to take the hit for not looking sophisticated and being slick, because you need me now.”

Asked about being outmatched in campaign funding, Latour said she and her supporters plan to “walk and walk” across the 5th District, meeting people face-to-face.