Election Night

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

3rd UPDATE: Fennell Strolls to Reelection in 2nd

Posted By on Wed, Jun 8, 2016 at 12:43 AM

Fennell and Rogers, vying for the 2nd. - FILE
  • File
  • Fennell and Rogers, vying for the 2nd.

3rd UDPATE:
The final election night report is up and shows incumbent Estelle Fennell cementing her landslide re-election bid, having won 77 percent of the vote to challenger Glen “Bud” Rogers’ 22 percent.

While there are still votes to be tallied, the final election night count has Fennell finishing with 3,503 of the 4,563 votes cast in the race.

2nd UPDATE:
With 82 percent of precincts now reporting, incumbent 2nd District Supervisor Estelle Fennell is holding steady, with 78 percent of the vote to challenger Glen “Bud” Rogers 22 percent.

Fennell now has 2,480 votes to Rogers’ 693, having dominated both the early vote counts and the Election Day turnouts by more than 50-point margins.

UPDATE:
With 43 percent of Humboldt County precincts reporting, including at least a couple in SoHum, things aren’t looking much better for challenger Glen “Bud” Rogers, who’s trailing incumbent Estelle Fennell by 56 points.

Fennell has largely retained her early lead, now holding 77.5 percent of the vote to Rogers’ 22 percent with 2,436 votes cast in the contest. So far, Fennell has taken 74 percent of the Election Day vote, a slight drop off from the 78 percent of the early ballots she took in the first election night report. There are still plenty of votes to be counted — the race saw a total of 6,950 ballots cast four years ago — but Fennell’s lead is looking insurmountable.

PREVIOUSLY:
Incumbent 2nd District Humboldt County Supervisor Estelle Fennell has leapt out to a commanding early lead in in her re-election bid, taking 78 percent of the first batch of ballots cast in the race that sees her pitted against challenger Glen "Bud" Rogers.

Fennell has taken 1,546 of the 1,974 ballots counted thus far — all vote-by-mail ballots that showed up early to the Elections Office or those cast in person in the office prior to Election Day.

Fennell, who edged out incumbent Clif Clendenen to take her board seat in 2012, made a name for herself locally serving as news director at KMUD for 17 years. Then, Fennell worked as the executive director of the Humboldt Coalition for Property Rights for three before making a run for supervisor.

She’s campaigned largely on her experience in the position, saying she’s set up office hours in Garberville and Fortuna, helped facilitate the Supervisors’ first ever official meeting in Redway and worked to get Supes meetings live-streamed in Southern Humboldt, all to make her more accessible to her constituents. Fennell has also made a point of trumpeting her work to benefit the 2nd District directly, noting her work to repair the Garberville library, permit the Southern Humboldt Community Park, secure funding for a water tank in Fortuna and to clear fire hazards in the Bear Canyon area north of Garberville.

Rogers, a Vietnam veteran from the San Joaquin Valley and substitute teacher turned banjo maker and KMUD DJ, meanwhile has kept a hyper local focus in his second run for a board seat. (His first ended unsuccessfully in 2004, with a loss to incumbent Roger Rodoni.) Rogers has focused on bringing new ideas to the board, like creating tiny home villages for the homeless, morphing Humboldt into a charter county with a public bank and exercising more autonomy to take on big issues, like chemtrails — the alleged control of the weather and populace via the secret distribution of hazardous chemicals into the atmosphere.

Rogers has also taken a stand against the U.S. Highway 101 widening project at Richardson Grove, saying it’s a way to allow big box stores a stronger foothold in Humboldt County.

The differences in the two candidates is stark, perhaps underscored by their disparate campaign financing efforts. By the end of April, Fennell had raised almost $45,000 and already spent almost $25,000 on local advertising and signs. At the same point, Rogers had yet to raise a dime, according to campaign finance disclosure reports filed with the county.

For more on the candidates and the race, including their favorite movies, books and role models, check out past Journal coverage here.
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3rd UPDATE: Mike Wilson Takes 3rd District Race in Landslide

Posted By on Wed, Jun 8, 2016 at 12:43 AM

Wilson, left, and Driscoll. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Wilson, left, and Driscoll.

3rd UPDATE:
With 100 percent of Humboldt County precincts reporting, the final election night tally has Harbor Commissioner Mike Wilson finishing with 82 percent of the vote to become the county’s next 3rd District supervisor.

While there are still votes to be counted, Wilson finishes the night with 5,076 of the 6,204 ballots cast in the race.

2nd UPDATE:
Results from 100 out of 121 Humboldt County precincts are in, and Mike Wilson’s lead has grown. With Election Day ballots even higher in Wilson’s favor than mail-ins, the 3rd District candidate now has 80.47 percent of the vote to Uri Driscoll’s 18.78 percent.

Total vote tally so far:

Wilson: 3,544
Driscoll: 827

Previously:

Mike Wilson’s lead dropped less than a percentage point with the second report of the night, which counted 52 of 121 Humboldt County precincts reporting.

It appears not many 3rd District precincts were included, though, as the second report only adds 135 total votes to the race. Wilson got 94 of those, with Uri Driscoll pulling 39. The totals are as follows:

Wilson:
Total votes: 2,127
Percentage: 79.66

Driscoll:
Total votes: 520
Percentage: 19.48

Previously:

Third District Supervisor candidate Mike Wilson holds a commanding lead in the first report of Election Day.

With vote by mail ballots and early votes tallied, Wilson took 2,033 votes — 80 percent — to Uri Driscoll’s 481 votes.

Ballots cast at the polls today have yet to be tallied.

This is the first supervisorial campaign for either candidate. Current 3rd District Supervisor Mark Lovelace announced last year he would not seek re-election for a third term.

Wilson has served on the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District board for 10 years, presiding over that board's shift in the politics toward expanded aquaculture, conservation and recreation projects, including the district’s cleanup of the Samoa pulp mill.

He’d won wide support among the 3rd District’s left-leaning politicos, saying that, if elected, he would continue his effort to plan for an economic and environmental future for the county. That requires responses to homelessness, a commitment to economic diversity, an adaptive marijuana industry and the flexibility to address those issues with limited budgets. He’s also been a long-time trails supporter.

Driscoll has never served in public office, but said his experience as a farrier and a variety of other jobs made him the ideal candidate for the 3rd District. He too said the county’s economy was a primary issue and expressed concerns about homelessness, affordable housing and drug use.

A strong local economy would have limited the influence of “outside forces,” he told the Journal, and he called for robust industrial and commercial zones as well as protections for agricultural lands.

See previous coverage on the candidates and the 3rd District election here. See updating results for the 2nd District Supervisor's race here, and see local presidential primary results here.
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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

2nd UPDATE: Clinton Celebrates, Eureka Style, While Sanders Holds Strong in Humboldt

Posted By on Tue, Jun 7, 2016 at 10:24 PM

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Whether you’re feeling the Bern, heading for the Hill or dying to see Trump make Humboldt great again, we realize there’s a lot of interest in the outcome of this presidential primary. And, we figure, you want to see how your neighbors feel about the whole thing. With that in mind, we’ll update this post periodically with how the big dogs are faring, both up on our little stage here behind the redwood curtain, and in the delegate-rich battleground that is California. But, please, keep it civil out there.

First Return:

Humboldt's early voters are clearly feeling the Bern, as Sanders has grabbed 59 percent of the first batch of ballots counted to Clinton's 37 percent. Those numbers more than flip statewide, with Clinton holding 64 percent of the early vote to Sanders' 35.

On the Republican side of things, presumptive nominee Donald Trump has taken 73 percent of Humboldt's early vote while John Kasich and Ted Cruz have each pulled more than 9 percent of the vote despite having long since dropped out of the race.

SECOND RETURN:
When Hillary Clinton strolled on stage in Brooklyn tonight to declare victory in her quest to become the first woman to become the presumptive nominee of a major political party in the nation’s history, she did so to the sounds of a Eureka native.

On the heels of her wins in the New Jersey and New Mexico primaries — wins that are projected to make her delegate lead completely insurmountable — Clinton took the stage in Brooklyn ready to turn the page on the primary season. She chose Sara Bareilles’ “Brave” as the appropriate theme song for the moment, which apparently tickled the singer, who tweeted out:

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders is continuing to do well in Humboldt, having taken 62 percent of the vote so far and doing markedly better at the polls — where he’s drawn 72 percent of the vote — than he did in the early voting (59 percent of the vote). But Clinton still holds a hefty lead in the Golden State, as she holds 62 percent of the vote with just over 20 percent of precincts reporting statewide.

On the other side of the aisle, Donald Trump’s holding steady with 72 percent of the HumCo vote, though it’s worth noting that the long departed John Kasich and Ted Cruz continue to pull votes, taking in 9 and 10 percent of the vote, respectively, potentially a sign that the Republican party is still hesitant to rally around its controversial presumptive nominee. Those numbers aren’t far off their statewide counterparts, which have Trump with almost 78 percent of the vote, Kasich with 11 percent and Cruz with 8 percent.

THIRD RETURN:
With 82 percent of precincts reporting, the plucky Bernie Sanders continues to hold a strong Humboldt County lead over now presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. And, statewide, with 40 percent of precincts reporting, Sanders continues to cut into Clinton’s lead.

In Humboldt, Sanders has taken more than 65 percent of the Democratic primary vote to Clinton’s 32 percent. Throughout the Golden State, Clinton still holds a commanding 20-point lead but it has shrunk slightly. Sanders is now pulling 39 percent of the vote, up from 35 percent in the first returns, to Clinton’s 59 percent, down a handful of points from the 64 percent of the vote she held early on.
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Humboldt's 23 Percent Voter Turnout Not as Dismal as it Sounds

Posted By on Tue, Nov 24, 2015 at 4:13 PM

Kelly Erben casts her ballot at a local precinct, which turned out to be pretty lonely places on Election Day. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Kelly Erben casts her ballot at a local precinct, which turned out to be pretty lonely places on Election Day.
It’s official.

The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors certified the county’s election results this morning, making official what’s long been known: Harbor District incumbents Pat Higgins and Greg Dale have each won four more years on the board.


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Friday, November 13, 2015

Final Election Tally: Higgins Hangs On

Posted By on Fri, Nov 13, 2015 at 1:22 PM

Higgins
  • Higgins
With the final votes tallied, it looks like Patrick Higgins will retain his seat on the Humboldt County Harbor, Recreation and Conservation Commission.

The Humboldt County Elections Office released its post-election update report this afternoon, and it shows that Higgins has built on his 12-vote Election Night lead, and now sits 81 votes ahead of challenger Susan Rotwein.

The final tally that’s slated to go before the Board of Supervisors later this month has Higgins finishing with 50.65 percent of the vote to Rotwein’s 48.83 percent to retain his 5th Division seat on the board. Higgins’ victory — coupled with fellow incumbent Greg Dale’s landslide win in the 2nd Division — leaves the Harbor Commission largely intact after an election that left voters with a choice between its current direction and a more shipping-and-fishing-fleet-centric approach.

Rotwein supporters were thrilled when she jumped out to a seemingly commanding early lead on Election Night, taking 53.76 percent of the first report, which consisted entirely of vote-by-mail and early-voting ballots cast before Election Day. Higgins fared far better at the polls on Election Day, where he took 56.99 percent of the vote and overtook Rotwein.

In what’s become a well-established pattern on the North Coast, the votes counted after Election Day — provisional and late-arriving vote-by-mail ballots — closely mirrored the Election Day vote.

For the full final report for the Elections Office, click here.
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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

As the 5th District Twists in the Wind, A Look at Rotwein's Chances

Posted By on Wed, Nov 4, 2015 at 2:53 PM

Higgins
  • Higgins
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  • Rotwein




























It looks like 5th Division Harbor candidates Patrick Higgins and Susan Rotwein are going to spend some time twisting in the wind.

When the smoke cleared, the final Election Night report had 12 votes separating the candidates, with Higgins, the incumbent, having stormed back from an early, vote-by-mail-ballot-driven deficit. Today, the elections office reports that there are hundreds of outstanding ballots in the race, and it may be weeks before a victor can be declared.

Humboldt County Registrar of Voters Kelly Sanders said about 660 vote-by-mail ballots were turned in to polling stations on Election Day, with 230 of them dropped off at 5th District precincts. Additionally, she said, hundreds of vote-by-mail ballots were dropped off at the elections office on Monday and Tuesday — including 360 5th District ballots — that remain uncounted. Then, there were 75 provisional ballots cast at 5th District polling locations on Election Day.

Sanders said that means there’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 665 ballots yet to be counted in the 5th District race, but that number is sure to change. First of all, some of the provisional ballots could be tossed because the voter is ineligible and some vote-by-mail ballots could have been dropped off outside the voter’s district, meaning ballots that showed up in the 5th really belong in a different district and visa-versa. And, finally, Sanders said a new state law that went into effect this year requires the elections office to accept and count vote-by-mail ballots received in the mail by this Friday, as long as they were postmarked on or before Election Day, leaving an entirely unknown number of ballots still technically in play.

That all combines to mean Rotwein and Higgins have a lot of waiting to do in a race that’s already seen more than 3,600 ballots counted and currently has them separated by three-tenths of a percentage point. And these races can and do flip. Just think back to last November, when Eureka City Councilwoman Kim Bergel ended Election Night more than 100 votes behind incumbent Mike Newman. Two weeks later, she had a 46-vote lead and was crowned the winner.

In the 5th District race, it’s important to keep in mind that Rotwein rode the vote-by-mail ballots to a commanding early lead, taking 53.76 percent of the vote cast before this week. But, at the polls, Higgins more than flipped that script, hauling in 56.99 percent of the Election Day vote.

History has shown that the post-Election Day tallies generally more closely follow the poll trend than that of the early vote. That was the case with Bergel, who got pummeled in the early going, taking only 42.87 percent of the pre-election vote-by-mail ballots, but narrowed her deficit at the polls with 54.13 percent of the Election Day vote. Of the ballots counted after Election Day in that race, Bergel won 54.94 percent of them.

And Bergel’s just the latest example of what’s become a verified local trend.

Back to the 5th District. If we, for a moment, just assume for the sake of some quick math that there are 665 — and only 665 — ballots outstanding in the race, Rotwein would have to take 50.98 percent of them to come out ahead. That’s more than 8 points better than she fared on Election Day.

It’s entirely possible that happens, especially with a margin so slim. But, a Rotwein victory would buck Humboldt County’s recent electoral history.

Sanders said she’s hopeful to get a post-election results update out next Friday, but cautioned that would only include a portion of the outstanding ballots. It seems likely this race will hang in the balance until the election is certified Nov. 24.
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UPDATED: Dale Wins 2nd District Harbor Race

Posted By on Wed, Nov 4, 2015 at 12:52 AM

Greg Dale, left, and Nick Angeloff. - FILE
  • File
  • Greg Dale, left, and Nick Angeloff.
SECOND UPDATE:
The final election night report is in, and the tally confirms Greg Dale’s re-election. With 3,080 votes cast, and all of the 2nd District’s 23 precincts reporting, Dale took nearly 64 percent of the vote to challenger Nick Angeloff’s 35 percent.

Celebrating at his Fortuna home with a Manhattan, Dale was pleased with the election night results. “We’re grateful for all the folks that have a rational position about the district and about where we’re going,” he said over the phone. “And pretty excited.”

FIRST UPDATE:
The second election night report is out, but few of the precincts in the 2nd District are reporting yet, meaning Dale is still strongly in the lead. 

With three out of 23 precincts reporting, Dale has 63 percent of the total vote. Angeloff trails with nearly 36 percent of the vote. The precinct returns are much more evenly matched than the mail-in ballots (51.17 percent Dale, 48.83 percent Angeloff), but Angeloff is still a distant second.

PREVIOUSLY:

The first returns from the elections office are in and incumbent Greg Dale has a commanding lead in the race for the Harbor District's 2nd District seat.

The first report shows Dale leading with 64 percent — 1,470 votes cast in his name. His challenger, Nick Angeloff, has nearly 35 percent — 796 votes. The first report only shows vote-by-mail ballots, and precinct reports are yet to be tallied.

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UPDATED: Higgins Pulls Ahead in the 5th

Posted By on Wed, Nov 4, 2015 at 12:48 AM

Higgins
  • Higgins
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2nd UPDATE:
With the final Election Night report in, we have a nail biter in the race for the 5th Division Harbor District Seat.

After trailing all night, incumbent Commissioner Pat Higgins has taken a 12-vote lead over challenger Susan Rotwein with 100 percent of precincts reporting. With 3,666 votes counted in the race thus far, Higgins has 49.89 percent of the vote to Rotwein’s 49.56 percent. There are ballots yet to be counted — provisionals and vote-by-mail ballots that came in on Election day — and it looks like this one won’t be decided for days, or even weeks. That said, it looks good for Higgins, who took 56.99 percent of the precinct vote to erase Rotwein’s early lead.

1st UPDATE:
With another 2,345 votes counted, challenger Susan Rotwein has maintained her lead over incumbent Pat Higgins in the race to become the Harbor District’s next 5th Division commissioner.

Only 46 additional votes have been counted since the first return, which consisted entirely of vote-by-mail ballots and had Rotwein holding a 186-vote lead. Higgins’ has now widdled that down to 174 votes, but still trails with 46.01 percent of the vote to Rotwein’s 53.43.

It’s worth noting that Higgins took 63 percent of the Election Day ballots counted thus far. If that spread holds, a comeback is obviously still within reach.

With the clock creeping toward midnight, neither candidate answered Journal calls for comment.

PREVIOUSLY:
Challenger Susan Rotwein has jumped out to a slim, early lead in the race to become the Harbor District's next commissioner representing the Trinidad, McKinleyville and Willow Creek areas.

The first election returns, comprised entirely of vote-by-mail ballots turned in prior to Election Day, have Rotwein leading by 186 votes. Thus far, she's taken 53.76 percent of the vote to incumbent Pat Higgins' 45.67 percent with 2,299 ballots cast.

The race has essentially been a referendum on the current board’s very active last five years. While the incumbent Higgins has staunchly defended the board’s recent run and direction, challenger Susan Rotwein has charged that district has drifted off course.

Higgins, a fisheries biologist by trade who was elected to represent the Trinidad, McKinleyville and Willow Creek areas on the board in 2007, has campaigned on the district’s recent activity. On the campaign trail, Higgins has trumpeted the district’s 2012 acquisition of the Samoa Pulp Mill, and the property’s subsequent cleanup, saying it was good for the environment and economic development on the bay. He’s said the current board has taken the district from the brink of insolvency to solid financial footing by diversifying its economic interests and bringing the marina’s budget closer to balance, all while promoting transparency and increasing recreation opportunities around the bay.

Rotwein, on the other hand, has lambasted the board’s decision to acquire the old mill property, saying the cleanup left the district deeply in debt (though the bulk of the district’s borrowed funds will be forgiven in seven years and the balance was a prepayment on Coast Seafoods’ tidelands lease). She has also said the acquisition left tax payers on the hook for the cleanup, which should have been done by the private sector. Rotwein, a nurse consultant from Trinidad who co-owns a fishing boat, also charged the district needs to better serve the fishing industry, noting that it’s increased slip fees at the marina and moved a fishermen’s storage facility across the bay. Rotwein has said the district needs to prioritize shipping to and from Humboldt Bay to boost regional economic development.

While the campaign to represent the Fifth District on the commission has largely remained civil, the differences in the candidates’ platforms were not nuanced. Voters were largely left to decide whether or not they liked the district’s current direction and vote accordingly.

Meanwhile, over in the 2nd District, Greg Dale has jumped out to a commanding early lead with 64.19 percent of the early vote.

Read more about both candidates in past Journal coverage here.

Click here to visit the Humboldt County Elections Office webpage for full election results, including: Arcata’s Measure A, the McKinlevyille Union School Board, the Fortuna Union High School Board, the Fruitland Ridge Fire Protection District Board, the Humboldt County Board of Education, the Manila Community Services District Board, the Shelter Cove Resort Improvement District Board and the Willow Creek Community Services District Board.
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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

It's Not Too Late to Rock the Vote

Posted By on Tue, Nov 3, 2015 at 4:37 PM

Kelly Erben cast her vote at the Sunrise Plaza in Eureka during Tuesday's election. Early returns are hinting at a low turnout, but Erben said her mother strongly encouraged her to vote in every election and she's only missed one since her 18th birthday. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Kelly Erben cast her vote at the Sunrise Plaza in Eureka during Tuesday's election. Early returns are hinting at a low turnout, but Erben said her mother strongly encouraged her to vote in every election and she's only missed one since her 18th birthday.
Anecdotal evidence is strongly hinting that today’s voter turnout in Humboldt County is dismally low, not that that’s a huge surprise with most voters facing sparse ballots and a pair of Harbor District races headlining the whole affair. The good news is that means your ballot has the potential to pull some real weight, and you still have a few hours to cast it before polls close at 8 p.m.


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Friday, November 21, 2014

UPDATED: Bergel Takes Lead in Ward 3 Race; City on Cusp of History

Posted By on Fri, Nov 21, 2014 at 1:05 PM

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UPDATE:
The Humboldt County Elections Office has released its post-election update, which can be found here. The notables, other than Bergel's apparent come-from-behind victory, are the passage of Eureka City Schools' bond measure and the narrow failure of that of Jacoby Creek School District.

PREVIOUSLY:
It looks like Eureka’s going to seat what’s believed to be the first all-female city council in its history, after Kim Bergel has pulled out an improbable upset of incumbent Ward 3 Councilman Mike Newman.

Humboldt County Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich said the elections office is preparing to release a post-election update that shows Bergel — after finishing Election Day trailing Newman by 104 votes — now has a 46 vote lead. The results are not final, however, and Crnich said there is only a “slim” chance they change in any substantive way before they come before the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors for certification.

Crnich said the current count has Newman with 3,313 votes to Bergel’s 3,359. After taking just 42.87 percent of the early vote-by-mail ballots and 54.13 percent of the Election Day vote, Bergel took 54.94 percent of the 1,398 ballots counted after Election Day.

Final voter turnout for the county was 50.65 percent, Crnich said, with 51.64 percent of Eureka’s registered voters casting ballots.

For more in depth look at the numbers in the Ward 3 race, and a glimpse at the historic feat of empanelling Eurkea’s first all-female council, check out prior Journal coverage herehere and here.

The Journal will update this post when the updated results are released this afternoon.
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