Splitting progressive vote | Lost Coast Outpost | Humboldt County

J.A. S. asks Natalie Arroyo, Kim Bergel

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Splitting progressive vote

How concerned are you that you’ll split the progressive vote, and thus, open the job to the candidate with real estate interests?

— J.A. S.


Kim Bergel

Fortunately there is no issue of splitting the vote in a county Supervisor race. It is a run-off system in which the top two plurality vote receivers square off in November. If someone receives more than 50 percent of the votes then that candidate wins and it doesn’t matter that the rest of the vote is split. But if all three candidates come in with lower than 50 percent, the election proceeds to the November round with the top two.

Democracy benefits when more people are engaged and step up. More choices is good for democracy, not bad. It is fortunate that we cannot split the vote in this race in a way that is harmful to the cause you describe. However, even better would be the ranked-choice voting system we enacted in the City of Eureka, which is much like an “instant run-off” where the election is decided in one vote and also no vote-splitting. I would like to explore the system for county positions. 

Thank You for the question and an opportunity to clarify this misnomer.

Sincerely, Kim Bergel

Natalie Arroyo

Hello J.A.S., 

I share your concern, and acknowledge that having 3 candidates in a primary means that it will be very hard for any candidate to reach the “50% plus 1” threshold. As a result, this race may continue on until the November general election. I announced my intention to run in August of 2021 so I would be able to gain plenty of momentum and have as much time as possible to connect with voters and my supporters. This has proven to be very successful! 

While continuing on to the general election would be costly for the 2 candidates who continue, one upside is that the candidates would spend that much more time speaking with voters about their concerns and connecting as a prospective leader. This would give the community more time to gauge the candidates’ leadership abilities and probe into their ideas. 

That said, I hope that the outcome will still be decided in the primary. If I am miraculously able to secure that “50% plus 1”, I will still spend substantial time hearing from voters and community members between June 8 and taking office in the winter. This would take the form of listening sessions with County staff and community members, deepening relationships with key partners and fellow elected officials, and holding “office hours” where residents can drop in and speak with me. 

You specifically mentioned the progressive vote, and I want to share with readers that I’ve been endorsed by the Humboldt Progressive Democrats, the Green Party of Humboldt County, many labor unions and two large labor councils, and Redwood Coalition for Climate and Environmental Responsibility, a coalition of environmentally-focused organizations. I am proud of this overt support from progressive groups!

I also know that I can be a genuinely good representative to those with other perspectives on politics and decision-making, thanks to my diverse background as a veteran and military officer, my experience assisting with my spouse’s small business, my upbringing amongst family with much more conservative values, and my respect for people. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to identify shared values and actions that will contribute to us all living in a healthy, connected, thriving, safe community. 

I encourage voters to reach out to me and to visit my website for more information about why I’m a fantastic choice to be the next District 4 Supervisor! www.ArroyoforSupervisor.com 

Thank you for the question. 

Sincerely, Natalie Arroyo