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Incumbents Cruise and McKinley Will Come Down in a Sanctuary County 

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Election Day turned out to be a pretty good one for Humboldt County incumbents.

In Eureka's first trip to the polls under its new true ward system, Councilmembers Kim Bergel and Natalie Arroyo fended off challengers to retain their seats, and they'll be joined by Leslie Castellano, who cruised to victory in a four-way race to represent Ward 1. Progressive candidate Susan Seaman, meanwhile, will be the city's next mayor, meaning sitting Councilmember Heidi Messner, who'd thrown her hat in the mayoral showdown, will retain her Ward 2 seat.

To the west, incumbent Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District Commissioner Richard Marks easily retained his Fourth Division seat, fending off a challenge from outgoing Eureka City Councilmember Marian Brady.

In Ferndale, sitting Councilmember Patrick Sweeney cruised to victory in the city's mayoral race. McKinleyville, meanwhile, saw all three incumbents reelected to seats on the McKinleyville Community Services District board. Results in Trinidad were mixed and way too close to call, with four candidates separated by just six votes in the final election night tally as they vie for three open council seats.

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In Arcata, incumbents Sofia Pereira and Brett Watson sailed to re-election. Meanwhile, another city incumbent — the statue of President William McKinley at the center of the Arcata Plaza — lost a bid on his behalf to block the city council's February vote to remove his likeness from the city center. (Historical footnote: City voters' rejection of the bid to save the statue came exactly 118 years to the day after McKinley was reelected president, a victory that came just about a year before his assassination in 1901.)

Speaking of ballot measures, Measure K, which sought to make Humboldt a "sanctuary county" by prohibiting county employees from working with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, stumbled in the early returns but support grew as the night went on until the final election night tally had it holding a slim lead with 51.56 percent of the vote. Meanwhile, Measure O cruised to passage with 71.94 percent of the vote, meaning county residents will continue paying a 0.5 percent sales tax to fund county services until they pass another ballot measure reversing the decision.

Voters also passed school bond measures in Cutten and the Northern Humboldt Union High School District, as well as a hotel tax in Blue Lake, but rejected a tax to fund road repairs in Eureka and a sales tax aimed at bolstering Rio Dell's general fund.

Check out a full breakdown of local results here and visit our news feed to relive election night as it unfolded.

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Thadeus Greenson

Thadeus Greenson is the news editor of the North Coast Journal.

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