Streets and mixers aswarm with Arcata City Council candidates

Past and possibly current City Council candidate Valerie Rose-Campbell, Former City Councilmember and pro-McKinley statue activist Bob Ornelas and Vice Mayor Brett Watson at the Aug. 2 Arcata Chamber of Commerce mixer at Humboldt Patient Resource Center. KH | Union

Kevin L. Hoover
Mad River Union

ARCATA – With two four-year Arcata City Council seats available this November and a host of pressing issues at hand, incumbents and outsiders alike are joining the candidate queue.

As of Friday morning, some seven possible candidates have taken out nomination papers, though just incumbent Brett Watson has turned them in. They are Lorna Bryant, Ryan Dale, Jolian Kangas, Joseph McKinzie, Sofia Pereira, Valerie Rose-Campbell and Watson. Pereira and Watson are Arcata's mayor and vice mayor. Arcata citizens interested in running have until Friday, Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. to take out and return nomination papers.

Councilmembers make $668.84 per month and receive full health insurance.

Watson's nomination petition was found to be sufficient Friday morning, according to City Clerk Bridget Dory. He was appointed by the council in 2017 to fill the seat vacated by former Councilmember Mark Wheetley.

Rose-Campbell has sought a council seat three times previous, in 2012, 2016 and 2017 (though her papers were insufficient in 2012, and she only appeared on a ballot in 2016), while Kangas made one attempt, in 2012, but his nomination papers didn't pass muster.

The two incumbents are first to get their campaigns rolling.

Sofia Pereira

The Sofia Pereira for Arcata City Council 2018 campaign kickoff takes place Saturday, Aug. 4 at 2 p.m. at Greenview Park, 1116 Lewis Ct. in Arcata. There, Pereira will be introduced by community leaders including State Sen. Mike McGuire and Assemblymember Jim Wood.

“It’s been a privilege to serve on the Arcata City Council these past four years, solving problems our community faces," Pereira said in a media advisory. "I am excited to announce that I am seeking a second term on the Arcata City Council. Over these next several months we will be talking to voters across Arcata about our campaign to continue to make Arcata an amazing and wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family.”

Vice Mayor Brett Watson with announced candidate Ryan Dale at the Chamber/HPRC mixer. KLH | Union

Brett Watson

Watson hasn't scheduled a kickoff event, but has issued a press release:



ARCATA, CA--- Arcata City Councilmember and Vice-Mayor Brett Watson has decided to run for a 4-year term for Arcata City Council.  On Thursday afternoon, Watson officially submitted his candidate statement along with thirty signatures of registered Arcata voters at City Hall.

“I am very excited to be running this November and I’ve already started going to door to door. I look forward to meeting and talking with as many community members as possible between now and then,” Watson said. “It’s a great honor to work for the people of Arcata, and I hope they’ll grant me the opportunity to continue to work for them beyond 2018.”

Watson first moved to Arcata to attend Humboldt State University, where he graduated with a degree in Forestry.  Watson has served in a number of civic roles, including five years on the Economic Development Committee, as a volunteer at the Arcata Senior Center, and as a volunteer at the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary. In April 2017, he was appointed by the City Council to fill a vacancy left by Mark Wheetley.

“I have an ambitious set of goals for my next term, including expanding safe and affordable housing for all Arcatans, continuing to enhance the Plaza and Valley West, helping to create a ‘premier’ dog park for residents and tourists, furthering progress on zero-waste goals, increasing the City’s level of disaster preparedness, and working to increase access to public lands.”

Watson is grateful to have earned the support of many valued members of the Arcata community. Stay tuned for an announcement regarding the campaign’s official kickoff event.

Find out more at, or contact Brett directly at [email protected].






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