It takes a lot of personal fortitude to step forward and run for public office. Even more difficult is running to unseat an incumbent. In Eureka you are required to live in a particular ward to run, but when you do you have to run in the entire City. Name recognition becomes key to your chances for success.
In this race for Eureka City Council you have two reasonably well known incumbent Candidates. So it’s even more important in this race for the challengers to differentiate themselves from the office holders. The only obvious difference so far is Natalie and Kim’s support for measure R. But there are other areas we believe they can show their differences. The East/West rail line and the public moneys that Newman and Albin have spoken about spending on the project would be one area to start with. There are many other areas we know they would approach differently, but we haven’t heard much about them.
We hope it happens soon. As an example, Chris Kerrigan ran a great race but he started late and peaked on election day. 15 years ago that would have been great. Not today, with increasing numbers of voters using mail-in ballots he lost heavily with the early voters. So even though he won at the polling places he lost the election.
We are supporting and pulling for the challengers Natalie Arroyo and Kim Bergel. We just hope their grassroots campaigns start catching fire and become a lot more vocal and visible very soon. It’s hard to win against incumbents, even if the incumbents have been complete failures. It’s even harder to beat incumbents if you’re not making it clear to the voters what you would be doing differently.