Michelle Drew Substantially Ahead of Estelle; Hindley Leads Smith in Ferndale

You decide vote electionThe below was written by Thaddeus Greenson and generously shared with us by the North Coast Journal: 

The Humboldt County Elections Office has issued it’s third post-election update, adding about 10,000 ballots to the count, which has strengthened challenger Michelle Bushnell’s lead over two-term incumbent Estelle Fennell in the race to become the county’s next Second District Supervisor.

Bushnell, who narrowly trailed Fennell after Election Night, now leads by 356 votes, having taken 51.5 percent of the vote to Fennell’s 48.5 percent with 11,742 ballots counted thus far. It’s unclear how many ballots may remain to be counted in the race.

Down in Ferndale, meanwhile, incumbent Mayor Don Hindley has grown his lead to a slim 57 votes over challenger Robin Smith with 887 votes counted in the race thus far. Again, it’s unclear how many ballots may still be counted in the race.

Today’s update pushes countywide turnout for the election to 67,985 voters — roughly 80 percent of those registered and 66 percent of those eligible.

Please note that the Lost Coast Outpost, having spoken to Kelly Sanders, Humboldt County’s clerk-recorder/registrar of voters about the number of votes to be counted, is saying that Michelle has a commanding lead over Estelle. Read their breakdown here.

In other another important Southern Humboldt race, Cinnamon Paula and Jessica Willis maintain their leads for the Southern Humboldt School Board.



  • YES!!! Bye Estelle!!!

  • With liberty and justice for all

    The extortion queen is getting her carma !!!!!!!! Love it ,lol.
    Going to celebrate tomorrow.
    Its a good day for our community!!!!!!!

  • wow, looks like Estelle is going down…
    how i doubted all you Estelle-bashers here
    thinking you were just the usual hot air
    but you WERE on to something, somehow
    you WERE part of something and looks
    like you’re getting your wish, and mine also
    i suppose, having voted for Michelle as a
    protest vote…
    anyway, Estelle seems a little greedy in retrospect,
    she had eight years, and wanted more…
    well, we’ll see, every vote still needs to be counted…
    so Estelle distractors–you May WIN…

  • William Shakespeare

    Dump Estelle and trump..🙂😷

  • 80% of registered voters in Humboldt voted.
    Pretty newsworthy in itself.

    • This is true.

      Replacing a poor incumbent with a low end mediocre challenger is typical Humboldt.

      Now get rid of Rex Bohn, Mike Wilson, Virginia Bass, and my #1 choice for “worst candidate ever elected to public office, in history”: Susan Seaman…

      Lake County is no better, it’s operated like a cheesy sorority, has complete crooks in top jobs, uneducated zaftig local women on every desk, idiotic policy and developmentally disabled hiring and HR…

      You won’t like Michelle, and there’s a great chance she will resign anyway. Happy Christmas, Garberville!

      • Michelle might not be as polished but I know she’ll try hard and give it her all. And I’m sure she’ll answer calls not just from her high dollar contributors.

        • It’s interesting that nobody is complaining that the count is taking FOREVER!

          Will it be done in a week? A month? This year?

          Nice going Humboldt, and stay tuned for next week’s installment of

          “All my elections”…

          Did Trump really lose? Stay tuned! The supervisor race? We hope to settle it before it’s time to file for the candidacy in the next cycle…

          Michelle? Not good. Estelle? Poor, but well paid off by special interests and her constituents!

          In Humboldt, it’s the backdoor financial deals that make stuff happen.

          • I don’t fully understand the reasoning but this is normal for the vote count to take weeks. Look back at prior elections.

            • Interesting that a couple hundred miles North of the tech center of the universe, it would take so long to process a few thousand ballots…

              Whatever, if it’s fast enough for your county, I guess I don’t mind, and I shouldn’t be bothered to look back, since in 2016 Trump was elected clean as Kleenex, fast as FedEx, without much fuss. I’m still upset about it….

              I don’t think that much of anything honest happens in Humboldt politics, but over time I have accepted that it’s just a corrupt and apathetic place, which can’t be expected to function like almost anywhere else.

              In a world where the best job of all looks like “Drug Dealer”, and where a person is measured by the size and newness of his pickup, I suspect that elections don’t count for much, and in the end, life is pretty much a popularity contest anyway.

              Humboldt County politics aside, Americans have little to be proud of, and our governmental system is looking shot in the ass with incompetence, crooks, and nepotists. Even in Humboldt, the golden rule comes first, and pot farmers complain, like all farmers, but they don’t seem to run for office.

              Congratulations on the 80% turnout!

  • Pot grower just like u

    The abtments will still be coming it don’t madder how is at the bord rex bone is the biggest pot grower there is know the holl bord will be pot growers busting pot growers times have changed better have ur duck in a row because if I get abment I’ll get mine

    • As long as the state and fish and wildlife are involved it really doesn’t matter whose on the board nothing is going to change far as abatements go.

      • That’s not totally true. Look at other county’s abatement programs (if they have them) the fines are a small fraction- trinity $100, butte $500 etc. Estelle voted for and defended the $10k per day per violation which is unique to Humboldt and comparable to Tehama county’s pilot abatement program with $30k fines. She was using it as a fear tactic to get ripple to comply essentially without acknowledging how impossible and expensive the permit process is.
        Michelle does not support the abatement program as it is. She was a victim of it, she knows how unjust it is. She also values homesteaders so maybe we will finally get that 600 sq ft permit free greenhouse.

    • NeighborsNotEnemies

      I agree the abatements will still come. However, I strongly feel they won’t be flowing like a gdam broken fire hydrant (Estelle).

  • I guess enough people finally had enough of Estelle’s bullshit! “Oh don’t worry- we’ll have a program soon for the small growers to get permits”. “We care about the mom and pop growers who have built this community” Blah Blah Blah for years and years of her ugly mean lying destructive sold-out corporate mega-grow rich permitted mealy-mouth bullshit while she buddied about with John Ford attacking everybody in south county who couldn’t afford her protection racket. Glad to see her lose. Thank you, everybody! Thank you all for finally wising up and kicking her ugly lying ass out of her public predator position. Now let’s go after John Ford!!

    • Her campaign contributions were largely financed by large well known big growers (you know, the ones that blew it up to be able to afford the outstanding fees) but there are apparently a lot of dissatisfied mom n pops out there looking for change. I hope Michelle can help

      • I think you will find once the precinct reports come out that if Estelle looses it won’t be small growers that made the difference. More likely a larger segment of the conservative element in Fortuna went for Bushnell. They tend to vote for whoever is seen as more conservative. They supported Estelle because she was seen as right of Clendenen after heading up a property rights organization. Politically Bushnell is seen as right of Estelle.

  • Finally good news. Guess what Estelle? Its your turn to just leave!

  • 🕯🌳I voted for Michelle as well did like the job Estelle was doing just my vote wasn’t wasted. 🖖🖖

  • Cinnamon O'Neill-Paula

    Thanks Kym! Looking forward to being part of the SHUSD Board!

  • My vote was AGAINST Estelle. I hope Michelle will earn my vote FOR her 4 years from now.

  • Estelle’s failure to recognize the impacts of commercial cannabis farms occurring on County lands adjacent to residential neighborhoods in Fortuna cost her her job.

    Her plan to pull back the abatement program last year did not save her job. Her failure to help her constituents with abatement and permit processing issues cost her her job.

    Her failure to hold the Sheriff Department (with CDFW looking on) accountable for the environmental and property damage they cause during eradication efforts cost her her job.

    Here failure to support implementation of Measure S as presented to and approved by the voters cost her her job. Her failure to advocate to use any Measure S funds for roads, which directly impact public safety, cost her her job.

    Her failure to heed and implement the Grand Jury’s report regarding the Planning Departments cannabis permit processing cost her her job.

    Her failure to listen to the concerns of her constituents until the very last minute regarding the wind project cost her her job.

    Her failure to get anything done regarding the Garberville Veterans Hall cost her her job.

    Her failure to work with other local governments to help resolve the homeless crisis cost her her job.

    Her failure to avoid and resolve costly lawsuits cost her her job.

    Her and the other Board members continued “rubber stamping” of the Annual Budgets and Department’s request for additional funding cost her her job. The County Budget increased almost $190 million dollars since she took office. The Planning Department Budget increased almost 260% (from $3.55 million to $12.64 million) since she took office. $275,000 a year for satellite imagery?

    Proven Leadership?

    I hope Michelle will learn from Estelle’s mistakes. I hope the other Board members will treat her with respect (Rex, Virginia?).

  • Besides being rid of Estelle, who had played So Hum voters to her benefit, this is a great example of how citizens see the patterns that don’t serve their needs and will respond accordingly!
    Besides cozying up to $$$$, John Ford and disregarding small, historic growers, PLEASE COMMENT ON THE OTHER REASONS YOU VOTED AGAINST ESTELLE!
    While this is a not likely a place to poll a cross section of the 2nd District, still I am curious…..
    What say YOU???

  • How many provisional “Gallego style” residency ballots were given out to Mendo/sonona/trinity/Del Norte floating voters to stack Michele’s count. All you have to say is you intend to live in Humboldt County and the Elections office allows you to vote. How -ucking lame is that trick! Gallego was an artist at this trickery and he played it to the fullest! Then after the vote, they return to their shithole where they came from.
    Hating an official with 8 years of experience,even with all the bad behavior quotes, doesn’t make sense unless the challenger is experienced and trained as well. Michelle doesn’t know crap and will fail in her district’s representation horribly. So the lame approach to kick out Estelle will immediately bite everyone in their callous butts. Grads-you may think you’re winners, but really you are major LOSERS!

    • The only sense of “”Gallego style” residency ballots” I could make was as being related to the recall DA Paul Gallegos petition signature gatherers hired by his enemies (those who had had no fear of prosecution for their crimes before Paul’s tenure). They not only got paid the unusually large sum of $5 per signature but also had been living far away (even some in Oregon IIRC) and were put up in local motels at which they ‘resided’ and registered to vote from to make them eligible to gather signatures in our County.

      I am surprised Michelle pulled it out but Estelle really let many people down. Estelle got about as many more votes than in the primary as had gone to her challengers on the left but my very small sample of anti estelle from the left types mostly wrote in, left blank or voted for Michelle. About 3700 more people voted this time and there were 290-odd more blanks or write ins (788 total).

      What do we need to make things better? Ranked choice voting? Sortition (elected seats treated like jury duty)? Campaign finance or duration reforms? Voters with the luxury of a long range vision? Broader turnout?

      We lost when the real estate types used the cops they claimed served Gallegos to con the back to the landers into enabling the Capitalists to extract as much wealth as possible from the hills by supporting Estelle the first time.

      • Yes! Estelle’s association with KMUD gave her a lot of cache in the ‘back to the lander’ community. They just assumed she was ‘cool’ and ‘one of their own’. So they are the group who swung the election to her. This time, while she still have the Chamber types, more people saw that she had deserted them. Oh! Repairing/ replacing the Garberville Vets’ Hall wasn’t even on the agenda till the week before the election, then all of a sudden, Estelle was promising deadlines. Blah blah blah.
        (All this said. I hold no ill will for EF. She just didn’t help her constituents like she could / should have. The loss will no doubt be rough for her. And I hope she learns from it. My guess is that she will run next as a Republican against Jared Huffman. Then she and Dale Mensing can battle it out).

  • I attended many board meetings throughout the legalization proccess.it was very clear that estelle was in the pocket of HCGA (big marijuana).she was even willing to forgo public comment and declare an emergency meeting. A process intended only for life and death situations, in order tut I please her money doners.
    The process at the building department is ridiculous for small growers.they constantly throw barriers to getting simple building permits.then say the growers don’t want to comply.
    She lost allot people when they sent tut he LETTER suggesting people sign up before the first of the year .small growers did it and got huge tax Bill’s, while the big boys all got a wink and nudge not to sign.
    Sleazy business practices is what brought estelle Down. Whether she did the sleaze or stood by and watched doesn’t mattter.
    Michelle seems like a real person who doesn’t hide behind the right answer.
    Thank God

  • Dominion was the cause! Those dam Germans in Frankfurt flipped the vote . We need a recount!!!!!

  • The nature of fire is to burn. Every spark gets it’s turn. John Trudell.
    I just think some Sparks go out flickering into the night sky, while others set a bed of coals. The only way to stoke them is to keep a hand fussing with it. That’s what we have to do. A reporter at every Super meeting to report to the rest of us. But if we ignore the reports by being too busy to cope with it all, then we’ll continue to end up unhappy with any one we elect.
    I believe in term limits. 8 years is long enough for county Supes, President and Senate.

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