Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

By Samuel Strait – Reporter at Large – March 31, 2022

While for the most part Del Norte County is almost never on the
Governor’s radar, frankly in the higher realm of Sacramento’s Lords and
Ladies, no one there has realized California extends so far to the
North.  Hence;  it was a shock to learn that Governor Empty Suit, Gavin
Newsom, had the strength to raise his scepter to anoint one of the
County’s Democrats to the position of Supervisor of Del Norte’s District
Five.  Susan Masten, age left blank, after all she is a lady, has been
appointed to replace Bob Berkowitz by our lord in Sacramento until the
end of 2022.  I guess the haste with which Bob’s position was hoisted
upon the ballot in June has gone for naught.  It is not clear whether
the position will remain Ms. Masten’s should she not make it past the
primary in June or the November encounter with the voters.  Only time
will tell.

Ms. Masten has been an active participant in local politics particularly
with the Yurok tribe and the Klamath Township for several decades and
currently lives in Klamath, California.  A graduate of Oregon State
University in Liberal Arts, Masten has been a loud voice for Native
Americans for years, including time in Washington DC, and the State
Capitol.  She is listed as the owner of the Steelhead Lodge in Klamath
Glen.  Much of her claim to fame surrounds her active participation in
the “fishing wars” of several decades ago, and she has continued to
fight for Native American rights since.

Both Chair and Vice Chair of the Yurok tribe from the late nineties
until 2015, Masten has had considerable experience in a leadership role
in Klamath, but has yet to break through with the voters in the larger
arena of the entire County.  It is likely that much of this issue stems
from having a foot in each of Del Norte and Humboldt Counties.  In Del
Norte County, Klamath is but a portion of the voting block as many of
the Fifth District’s voters lie to the south and east of Crescent City
proper.  Ms Masten’s accomplishments have earned her plenty of accolades
over the course of her time in both County’s.  Unless something changes,
June will be her first test with the voters in District Five where she
faces off with former sheriff, Dean Wilson, David Jones, current member
of the Klamath Chamber of Commerce, Dave Markel, resident of the Bertsch
Tract, and Terri Colton, who previously sought the seat in 2016.

The question now becomes whether or not Hair Gel’s appointment was
welcome or seen as more interference in local politics, something he
hasn’t had much interest in unless it is appointing another of his party
to fill a vacant position.   Whether or not the County’s voters have had
it with California’s Democrats may shortly become plain in the coming
primary, Ms. Masten’s first test.  Accolades are one thing, but Democrat
leadership has acquired considerable tarnish over the past year at the
Federal level and at the State level as well.  Local Democrats have not
fared much better….

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