Top row, left to right: Castellano, Bergel, Seaman, Bonino, Brooks, Mantova.
Bottom row, left to right: Arroyo, Lamb, Messner, Breslin, Costantine, Fullerton.

The ballot will be a looooong one in Eureka this Nov. 6. Voters in the Queen City of the Ultimate West have three mayoral candidates to choose from, two candidates for Harbor District, and — depending on what ward they live in — somewhere between zero and four candidates for City Council.

The number of candidates is completely proportional to the heat of the campaign. It’s a scorcher this year. Eureka Profundo may be more or less in the rearview by now, but this election is shaping up to be a pretty intense battle over where we go from here. There is a divergence of opinion — maybe an irreconcilable one? — over what Eureka should become next, and/or how best to get there.

What to do? Who to vote for? The Outpost is going to go deep into the issues in the coming weeks, but here are some dates you should set aside on your calendar. Some local organizations have announced a series of candidate forums in the coming weeks. (Note: People don’t seem to call them “debates” anymore, which is nice and more accurate because candidates themselves don’t actually debate anymore.)

The forums announced so far are pleasingly symmetrical, as one series takes place at a hotbed of conservatism — the Rotary Club — and another takes place at the Labor Temple, and is sponsored by a coalition of progressive organizations. It’s a one-and-one.

Here are the details.

Press release from a coalition of progressive organizations:

Nine local community organizations have joined forces to host forums for all three Mayoral candidates and all nine City Council candidates running in the upcoming election on November 6th.

The Humboldt & Del Norte Counties Central Labor Council, North Coast People’s Alliance, Cooperation Humboldt, Health Care for All Humboldt, Northcoast Environmental Center, Centro Del Pueblo, Move to Amend, Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives, and the Eureka Chapter of the NAACP are co-sponsoring the events, which will be held at the Labor Temple (840 E Street, Eureka) on September 30th (Wards 1 and 3) and October 1st (Mayor and Ward 5) from 6:00-8:00 pm.

Each organization will ask questions relevant to their missions to each of the candidates.

On September 30th, Councilwoman Natalie Arroyo and challengers Jeannie Breslin and John Fullerton, and Ward 1 candidates Caroline Brooks, Leslie Castellano, Hailey Lamb, and Anthony Mantova.

On October 1st, Councilwoman Kim Bergel and challenger Joe Bonino, Mayoral candidates Michelle Costantine, Councilwoman Heidi Messner, and Susan Seaman.

The forums will be moderated by Labor Council Delegates Jerome Washington and Renee Saucedo, and will be livestreamed on Facebook and recorded to air quickly after on Access Humboldt.

“Right now Eureka residents are highly engaged in social and political issues,” reports Tamara McFarland, North Coast People’s Alliance steering committee chair. “We all understand that we have to work together if we want to strengthen social safety nets, protect the environment, and create a thriving and sustainable economy that serves all of Eureka’s residents. What separates this event from others is the collaboration between so many organizations working on these issues in Eureka.”

This event is free and open to the public.

Press release from the Rotary Club of Eureka:

The Rotary Club of Eureka would like to invite you to our candidate forums to be run by the League of Women Voters.

Due to the number of local candidates running this year (14 if you count the Harbor District candidates) we have to split this up over two Mondays with seven candidates at each event.

For Monday, October 1 we are having the Eureka Mayor and Eureka City Council, Ward 1 candidates.

Eureka Mayor

  • Heidi Messner
  • Michelle Costantine
  • Susan Seaman

 Eureka City Council, Ward One

  • Anthony Mantova 
  • Leslie Castellano
  • Caroline Brooks
  • Hailey Lamb

For Monday, October 8 we are having the Eureka City Council, Ward 3 and 5 candidates along with the Harbor District candidates.

Eureka City Council, Ward Three

  • Natalie Arroyo (incumbent)
  • John Fullerton
  • Jeannie Breslin

Eureka City Council, Ward Five

  • Kim Bergel (incumbent)
  • Joe Bonino

Harbor Commissioner, Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District – Division 4

  • Richard Marks (incumbent)
  • Marian Brady

We meet at the Elk’s Lodge at 445 Herrick Avenue in Eureka at 12:00 noon and lunch is on us. We will begin our forums promptly at 12:30 and they will last for one hour.

Both these forums are open to the public and the local media. If you have any family, friends or guests that would like to eat lunch, the cost is $14.50 per person. There is no cost if someone would just like to observe from the audience.

Rotary Club is non-partisan and non-political. We do believe that the key to a strong democracy is a well informed electorate. We will be sponsoring Access Humboldt to film both forums and have them replayed on Access Humboldt channel 12.