The lineups are set! Your candidates for public office have assembled and submitted the necessary paperwork, setting the stage set for another primary election season here in Humboldt County.
With a mere 81 days before the June 7 election, campaigns can now shift into high gear, though for a handful of lucky candidates, the race should be a breeze. In fact, the Outpost is prepared to call four races right now.
Congratulations to Humboldt County Sheriff William “Billy” Honsal and Superintendent of Schools Michael Davies Hughes, who will both win re-election, barring any wildly unlikely late write-in campaigns, as they are running unopposed.
Congrats, also, to Humboldt County’s next assessor, Howard LaHaie, and its next treasurer-tax collector, Amy Christensen, both of whom positioned themselves as the heir apparent No. 2s in their respective offices, having earned the trust of their bosses, Assessor Mari Wilson and Treasurer-Tax Collector John Bartholomew, both of whom are retiring from their positions.
Now, on to the contested races:
With the late qualification of Eureka attorney Michael Acosta, whose trial for felony charges for allegedly selling drugs and maintaining a drug house remains ongoing, this is now a three-way race between Acosta, Assistant District Attorney Stacey Eads and Deputy Public Defender Adrian Kamada.
On paper, this, too, is now a three-way race, but administrative analyst Mychal Evenson has announced that he’s no longer actively running and will instead support challenger Cheryl Dillingham, the finance director in Rio Dell who spent 30 years working for the county. She’s facing off against incumbent Karen Paz Dominguez.
Recorder-Clerk/Registrar of Voters
Unexpectedly, there are also three candidates running for this position, which will be wide open due to the retirement of incumbent Kelly Sanders. All three come from within the dual offices overseen by this position. They are: Deputy County Registrar Juan Pablo Cervantes, Deputy Recorder-Clerk Tiffany Hunt Nielsen and Fiscal Officer Benjamin J. Hershberger.
County Supervisor, District Four
Yet another three-way race! Here, looking to take over representation of the Eureka-dominated Fourth District from incumbent Virginia Bass, who’s not running, we have two current Eureka city councilmembers — Natalie Arroyo, a resources manager with Redwood Community Action Agency, and Kim Bergel, an instructional assistant at Eureka City Schools — and one former Eureka city councilmember, insurance broker Mike Newman.
County Supervisor, District Five
Up north, in the expansive McKinleyville-to-Orick-to-Willow Creek Fifth District, incumbent Steve Madrone will face off against challenger Larry Doss, a realtor and rancher.
Superior Court Judge, Dept. 5
There’s one judgeship up for grabs this election cycle, and the two candidates seeking that black robe are Deputy District Attorney Steve M. Steward and Eureka attorney Ben McLaughlin.
Election Day is June 7. The Outpost will have plenty of coverage between now and then. Happy (and safe) campaigning to all the candidates!