Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023 @ 10:36 a.m.

The Race is On For Del Norte County Superior Court Judge, Districts 2 and 5 Supervisor Seats; Local Candidate is Running For Assembly

Photo by Tom Arthur via Wikimedia Commons. Creative Commons License

Two incumbents on the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors will face challenges to their seats in the March 5 primary election while a third, District 1 representative Darrin Short, is running unopposed.

Two local attorneys — Keith Morris and Karen Olson — are vying for the Del Norte County Superior Court Judge seat currently held by Robert Cochran.

At the state level, Del Norte County Unified School District Trustee Michael Greer has thrown his hat into the California State Assembly District 2 race.

District 2 Supervisor Valerie Starkey will face challenger Rivers Drown.

Drown was born in Texas, raised in Colorado and moved to Crescent City in 1988 when he was a freshman in high school. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1992 and moved back to Crescent City, where he worked at Two Guys Automotive. He retired after 25 years working at Pelican Bay State Prison.

Starkey grew up in Del Norte County before moving to Sonoma for school. She worked in the Sonoma County Probation Department for about 30 years before returning home to be closer to family.

District 5 Supervisor Dean Wilson will face challengers Heather Polen and Linda Sutter.

Sutter writes for the Crescent City Times and is a frequent commenter at public meetings. In October, Sutter and her colleague Donna Westfall, of the Crescent City-Del Norte Taxpayers Association, received the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association’s 2022 Tax Fighter of the Year award, according to the Del Norte Triplicate.


Wilson, who was Del Norte County sheriff from 2003 to 2014, ran for the District 5 seat on the Board of Supervisors following the death of Bob Berkowitz. In the 2022 election, he prevailed over Susan Masten who was appointed to fill the vacancy by California Gov. Gavin Newsom until the general election in 2022.

Short, who served on the Crescent City Planning Commission and the Crescent City Council, was elected to the District 1 seat in 2020.

Morris and Olson are both private attorneys who provide public defense services to Del Norte County.

At the state level, Greer is one of seven candidates hoping to replace Jim Wood on the California State Assembly for District 2. Other candidates include Santa Rosa City Councilor Chris Rogers, Mendocino County Supervisor Ted Williams, Healdsburg Mayor Ariel Kelley, Arcata resident Margarita Fedorova, Yurok Tribe Vice Chairman Frankie Myers, former KMUD General Manager Cynthia Click and Rusty Hicks, chair of the California Democratic Party.
Wood stated in early November that he would not seek re-election.


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