Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Tuesday, March 5 @ 9:55 p.m.

Early Election Results Show Promise For Greer's Assembly Campaign; Starkey Takes Lead Over Drown; Wilson Ahead Over Polen And Sutter

Del Norte County election workers tally ballots coming in on Tuesday. | Screenshot

Michael Greer

When asked how he was faring, Michael Greer said he was surviving.

But the only Republican candidate for California’s Assembly 2 district was doing more than surviving based on early election results posted to the Secretary of State’s website Tuesday evening.

At 9:17 p.m., Greer, who’s currently a Del Norte County Unified School District trustee, was coming in ahead of his opponents. Democrat Chris Rogers trailed behind him in the No. 2 slot and Rusty Hicks, another Democrat, came in third.

Greer said he has to be among the top two vote-getters out of a candidate roster of seven to advance to the November general election.

Dean Wilson

“It’s coming out the way I pretty much expected,” he told the Wild Rivers Outpost. “I expected it would be Chris Rogers, myself, Ariel Kelley, Rusty Hicks, then Frankie [Myers] and Ted [Williams].”

As of 10 p.m., Kelley had come in third with 15 percent of the District 2 votes and Myers, a Yurok Tribal councilman, was fourth with 10.1 percent. Williams had received 7.5 percent of the District 2 votes and Cynthia Click, who suspended her campaign on Feb. 4, rounded things out with 1.3 percent of the votes.

Meanwhile, emotions among the candidates for Del Norte County supervisor ranged from pragmatic to cautiously optimistic to resigned. When she heard that she came in third behind incumbent Dean Wilson and her other opponent Heather Polen for District 5 Supervisor, Linda Sutter said she wasn’t surprised.

“The people have spoken,” she said. “If they’re happy with how Dean is running things, then that’s the way it is.”

Heather Polen

According to Del Norte County's third round of election results, which consisted of vote-by-mail ballots along with unofficial numbers from all 19 precincts, Wilson was in the lead with 340 votes. Polen was behind with 208 votes and Sutter was third with 92 votes.

Wilson, who was spending the evening in Roseburg ahead of a Spring Break trip to Ireland with his sons, said he hoped to surpass the 50 percent-plus-one margin he needed to avoid a run-off election against Polen in November.

“Hopefully with the poll voters, we’ll separate that division a bit more,” he said. “It was very close to what I expected with three people.”

Linda Sutter

If he prevails in either election, Wilson will be starting his first four-year term as a county supervisor. He defeated Susan Masten in the 2022 election. Masten had been appointed to fill a vacancy left on the Board of Supervisors when her predecessor Bob Berkowitz died in March 2022.

Polen said the grassroots efforts of her supporters and residents in District 5 plus the way they pulled together really impressed her. It didn’t matter what party people affiliated themselves with, she said, they want change.

Valerie Starkey

“They want genuine fiscal responsibility,” Polen told the Outpost. “They want to be heard, they want to be respected and they want to be listened to. It’s phenomenal to me. I’m so incredibly proud of my neighbors.”

In the District 2 race for supervisor, Rivers Drown, who is challenging incumbent Valerie Starkey, said he was waiting for more results to come in.

“Right now it’s still so early,” he said, noting that only about 400 ballots had been tallied so far.

But as of 9:48 p.m., Drown had received 180 votes to Starkey’s 324, according to the election results.

Starkey, who was watching the election results roll in with her family, noted that things could change, but she was happy with the initial results.

“I’m really honored that many people voted for me,” she said, adding that voter turnout had been low.

Rivers Drown

District 1 Supervisor Darrin Short ran unopposed this election.

In the race for Del Norte County Superior Court Judge, Karen Olson came out ahead of Keith V. Morris, according to the early results. Olson received 1,601 votes to Morris’s 1,152. As of 8:01 p.m. 2,507 out of a total of 14,743 ballots had been cast, according to the results.

Over at the Del Norte County Elections Office, County Clerk-Recorder Alissia Northrup said she and her team have been swamped on Monday and Tuesday.

But up till then, her team had only processed 2,470 mail-in ballots. For the last two days, they’ve spent so much time helping voters they haven’t had a chance to process more ballots, Northrup told the Outpost.

“I’ve had a couple people tell me, ‘Oh my gosh it snuck up on me,’” she said. “I’ve just been trying to push … ‘Think about the local stuff.’ There’s a state prop on there that’s important. Some of you have supervisors that are up for election. We have a judicial seat that’s going to be decided on this election. We have some really important stuff — there’s a new assembly person. All those things are important to think about.”


© 2024 Lost Coast Communications Contact: