Election time approacheth!
California’s June 7th primary is less than three months off, and here in Humboldt County, incumbents and aspiring candidates have until Friday at 5 p.m. to file their candidacy papers with the county’s elections office — that is unless the incumbent in any given office doesn’t file, in which case the deadline gets extended
by one week. [CORRECTION: Actually,it gets extended by five days — so the deadline is Wednesday, in such cases.]
So where do things stand? Well, there’s no shortage of intrigue! Let’s take a look.
This office has been the source of much public drama of late, so we’ll start here. Incumbent Karen Paz Dominguez, who has clashed with county department heads, fiscal staff and even the State Controller’s Office over delinquent fiscal reporting and communication issues, filed her initial candidate intention statement on Tuesday, officially signaling her aim to seek re-election.
Assuming she qualifies — candidates for this office must pay a filing fee of $1,328.08 or gather 2,704 signatures by the March 11 deadline — she’ll face off against challenger Mychal Evenson, an administrative analyst in the Department of Health and Human Services and former member of the county’s audit committee.
Fourth District Supervisor
After a dozen years in office, Virginia Bass will not seek a fourth term, leaving the county’s Fourth District race wide open.
Three candidates — all current or former members of the Eureka City Council — have thrown their hats in the ring:
First to announce was Natalie Arroyo, a Coast Guard Reserve officer, Cal Poly Humboldt instructor and resources manager with Redwood Community Action Agency. She has served on the council since 2014. Her campaign thus far has focused on economic growth, good governance, housing and environmental stewardship.
Fellow lefty councilmember Kim Bergel announced in October that she’d be joining the race, and in a brief interview she told the Outpost that, if elected, she’d devote attention to addressing local houseless residents experiencing suffer mental health issues. Bergel is an instructional assistant at Eureka City Schools and has served on the Eureka City Council since 2014.
In January, the man Bergel narrowly unseated on the council, Mike Newman, became the third candidate to enter the race. An insurance agent by trade and Bass’s appointee to the Humboldt County planning commission, Newman has long been a proponent of business development, including the Terra-Gen wind energy project that was later rejected by the Board of Supervisors.
Fifth District Supervisor
Incumbent Steve Madrone, seeking his second term in office, kicked off his re-election campaign last month at McKinleyville’s Pierson Park. The event was attended by Democratic bigwigs including Rep. Jared Huffman, state Senator Mike McGuire and former state Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro. With a master’s degree in watershed management, Madrone has worked on a variety of natural resource, land use planning and trail projects.
His only challenger thus far is Larry Doss, a realtor and former member of the Harbor District’s board of commissioners. Doss moved from Eureka to Orick to qualify for the race. According to his campaign website, Doss has visited with many Fifth District residents and learned of several of their concerns, including public safety, wildfires, water, roads and shelter insecurity.
While there have been rumors of other candidates, so far it’s a two-person race to succeed Maggie Fleming as the county’s DA.
Assistant District Attorney Stacey Eads has been endorsed by her boss, Fleming, and in her 20 years of experience she says she’s prosecuted “nearly every type of criminal case.” She spent more than a decade working in juvenile justice and ran the DA office’s Sexual Assault & Child Abuse Crimes prosecution team.
Adrian Kamada, meanwhile, worked as a deputy DA, prosecuting homicide cases, before joining the Humboldt County Public Defender’s Office in 2020. He was selected as the 2017 Wildlife Prosecutor of the Year by the California Fish and Game Commission and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters
The Outpost wrote briefly last month about each of the three candidates to file for this office thus far. You can find that post here.
- Juan Pablo Cervantes’s campaign website
- Tiffany Hunt Nielsen’s campaign Facebook page
- Benjamin Hershberger does not appear to have a campaign website up and running yet.
As of this writing, two candidates have filed to run for the one judge seat (bench?) up for grabs this cycle.
Deputy District Attorney Steven Steward graduated from HSU with a bachelor’s in political science and earned his law degree from the Columbus School of Law in Washington D.C.
Ben McLaughlin says that in his 17-year law career, he has worked as a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney in roughly equal parts. A criminal law attorney, McLaughlin says on his campaign website that he has worked for several years as a civil litigator, giving him experience in both branches of the superior court.
- Steven Steward’s campaign website
- Ben McLaughlin’s campaign website [Note: at the time of this writing, the website appeared to be down.]
Longtime incumbent Mari Wilson recently told the Outpost that she hadn’t yet decided whether or not she’ll seek re-election. Her deputy, Howard LaHaie, is so far the only candidate to file for the position.
Similarly, incumbent John Bartholomew recently said he, too, had yet to reach a decision on whether he’d seek re-election. And, similarly, the No. 2 in that office, Assistant Treasurer-Tax Collector Amy Christensen, is the only person thus far to file for the office.
Incumbent William “Billy” Honsal is thus far running unopposed.
ADDENDUM, March 11, 2022: Oops, forgot one!
Superintendent of Schools
Michael Davies-Hughes, the incumbent, is the only candidate thus far.