Fifth District race too close to call

Jack Durham
Mad River Union

HUMBOLDT – With thousands of votes yet to be counted, the results of the race for Fifth District supervisor may not be known for two weeks.

The Election Night Final Report shows incumbent Ryan Sundberg trailing challenger Steve Madrone by a mere 33 votes. Madrone received 2,410 votes, or 50.25 percent, while Sundberg received 2,377 votes, or 49.56 percent. 

Still be to be counted are thousands of ballots that were mailed in, dropped off at polling locations or hand delivered to the Humboldt County Elections Office. 

County wide, there were a total of 11,122 uncounted ballots, including provisional ballots, as of today, June 7. 

County Clerk Kelly Sanders said that additional ballots may come in Friday, June 8, which is the deadline for receiving ballots postmarked on or before Election Day, June 6.

Of the 11,112 ballots, 2,233 are from the sprawling Fifth District. Some of the ballots are from unincorporated areas such as Orick and rural communities outside of Hoopa, Willow Creek and Fieldbrook that have no polling places.

The morning after Election Day, Sundberg, who is seeking a third term on the Humboldt  County Board of Supervisors,  posted a message on Facebook regarding the results. “Hello Friends and Family, after a up and down night, we are 33 votes behind at this point. Basically, anything could happen at this point since there are still many ballots to count,” Sundberg wrote. “It will be extremely close regardless. Whatever happens, I have a great family and good friends that I am very grateful for. We gave this race our best effort so I am OK with whatever the outcome is. I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for the support, it means a lot to Kim and I. I will post anything new we hear from the Elections Office. I am off to San Diego this morning for the Coastal Commission meetings this week, so I’ll see you when I get back. Much Love, Ryan.”

On Thursday, Madrone issued a press release.  

“Although the final results are not known yet, I stand ready and eager to assume the supervisor seat to work on behalf of the residents of the Fifth District. Every single vote matters and we will monitor the results to make sure every vote is counted,” Madrone stated. “In the meantime, I’d like to thank my campaign team and all the dedicated volunteers for everything they did in support of our grassroots campaign. I also want to thank my family for their support and tolerance of my schedule during the campaign. Lastly, I want to thank all those who voted in this primary election whoever you selected because this is what makes democracy work.”


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