Joe Bonino became the latest candidate to enter what’s becoming a crowded field of political contenders in the City of Eureka this election season as he launched his campaign this afternoon for the Fifth Ward seat on the Eureka City Council, challenging incumbent Kim Bergel.
Bonino, a tall and mustachioed public transportation enthusiast, works as a payroll technician at Humboldt State University, and for the past five years he’s served as a member of Eureka’s Planning Commission.
During his stump speech at Ross Memorial Playground this afternoon Bonino said his priorities include public safety, job growth and a livable quality of life.
He was introduced by current Ward One City Councilmember Marian Brady, who will be termed out in December after eight years in office. Brady said Bonino “cares a lot about this city” and “brings a lot of really valuable public service.” She also mentioned that Bonino cleans up graffiti as he walks to the bus stop.
The campaign launch was attended by local conservatives such as First District Humboldt County Supervisor Rex Bohn and fellow Eureka City Council candidate John Fullerton as well as Michelle Costantine, founder of the “Take Back Eureka” Facebook campaign and recently announced candidate for mayor.
According to the campaign pamphlets being handed out at today’s launch, Bonino’s community service includes stints with the Easter Seals, The Ink People, the Humane Society and the Clarke Museum.
Bonino has a reputation for being a mild-mannered nice guy, though some Eurekans will remember that his previous run for the Eureka City Council, challenging former Councilmember Linda Atkins, got a bit nasty down the stretch. A negative campaign flyer sent out in the final month of the race included some misleading attacks on Atkins. While many considered him the favorite, Bonino wound up losing to Atkins, 51 percent to 48 percent.
Eureka’s new “True Ward” system, of course, has literally redrawn the political map, so it will be interesting to see how this year’s races shake out. Candidates now only have to campaign within their own wards, and only voters who live in Eureka’s new Fifth Ward will have the opportunity to vote for Bonino or Bergel (or another candidate, should any more enter the race before the Aug. 10 filling deadline).
The new Fifth Ward, which encompasses the bulk of Eureka’s Old Town and downtown, may be the City’s most diverse with its mix of commercial and residential, stately and decrepit, affluent and destitute.
Bonino’s campaign pamphlet lists a campaign web address of joeboninoforcouncil.com, though as of this writing the site doesn’t appear to be functioning. We’ll keep that link in place, though, on the assumption that it will be up and running soon. Election Day is Nov. 6.