Virginia Bass, Humboldt County’s longest-serving current supervisor, today announced that she will not seek a fourth term in office. 

“I think I’ve had a good run and I believe it’s time for me to move on to other adventures,” she said in a statement provided to the Outpost.

A scion of old school Eureka, having bussed tables at her father’s popular steak joint, O-H’s Town House, Bass went on to serve on the Eureka City Council and as the city’s mayor before her 2010 election to the Board of Supervisors, representing the Fourth District.

With Bass bowing out of the 2022 campaign, there’s now a three-way race to fill her seat. Current Eureka City Councilmembers Natalie Arroyo and Kim Bergel have both announced their candidacies, and on Wednesday a new contender filed his candidate intention paperwork: Eureka resident Thomas Koors, about whom the Outpost knows very little. (We reached him by phone this morning and he said he’ll follow up this afternoon.)

Here’s the full statement from Bass:


As I write this, I realize how fortunate I’ve been to serve my community as an elected official for over 2 decades. During the last 11 years I’ve had the pleasure of serving on your Board of Supervisors. I love my job and the challenges that it brings, and I think I’m pretty good at it. I’m not perfect but nobody is. I know that I try to do the best I can to represent the residents of the fourth district and the county as a whole.

After much thought and internal dialogue, I have decided not to run for re-election. This truly is one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make. I’ve always said I didn’t want to stay past my expiration date like that container of curdled milk in the back of the refrigerator. Of course, in this line of work there’s not necessarily an expiration date, but I think I’ve had a good run and I believe it’s time for me to move on to other adventures.

As some of you may know, my mother passed away in August. As someone said to me recently, having your last surviving parent die changes who you are and I believe that to be true. It’s given me the opportunity to reflect on my own life and where I’ve been and where I still hope to go. 

Choosing not to run allows me an entire year to continue working for the betterment of my community but also leaves me unencumbered to make decisions that may not always be popular. Campaigning is literally a full-time job and to be honest, I would much rather spend my energies serving my county well in this last year. We have some big challenges AND opportunities that deserve my full attention. 

I’ll gladly meet with all of those interested in running for the position to let them know some of the challenges they will be dealing with once in office should they be elected. I didn’t have that when I came into this job, and I know that it was overwhelming to try to learn it all without a thorough understanding of what county government really is. I can tell you from experience, I thought I knew a lot when I made the transition from city government to county. However, I quickly learned that I was sorely mistaken and had much to learn. Whomever is elected, I will do what I can to give them a warm handoff so that they can begin their term ready to tackle the issues and not left to learn on the fly. While this might sound strange to some of you who are reading this, I want to apologize to former 4th District Supervisor Neely as I think I judged her rather harshly as I didn’t really know the challenges that faced county government. But boy, I sure know now! However, every challenge is an opportunity if you look at it the right way.

I am so appreciative that I have had the opportunity to serve my local community in various offices in local government during these last 21 years. This was never the career path I planned, but sometimes I think a career picks you.

I’ll be forever grateful for the members of this community who have stuck with me through all these years as well as those who probably looked at me like I was from another planet in the beginning and got to know me enough to realize that I’m not about partisanship I’m about my community and making it better.

When it comes down to it, when you’re involved in local government, all that matters is making the community better and doing your best even though you know sometimes you fall short. And every time you fall short you learn something valuable and adjust. While after this year I may no longer be an elected official, I can still be a huge advocate for local government in one form or another.

I look at life as a series of adventures. While I might have started as a bus-person in my family business, I learned how to operate the organization, I became involved in community groups and learned the value in doing that.  In a last-minute decision, I ran for City Council which led to Mayor and then of course to Humboldt County supervisor. I’m not done, I’m just ready for my next adventure whatever that may be.