Ryan Sundberg (left) and Steve Madrone
Supervisor Ryan Sundberg today conceded the race for the Fifth District seat to Steve “Sungnome” Madrone, who won by a narrow 118-vote margin, according to final election results
released this week.
In a post to his Facebook page, Sundberg says he believes he left the sprawling district — which includes McKinleyville north to the county line, and the eastern stretches of the county, including Hoopa, Willow Creek and Weitchpec — in “better shape” and that he put his "heart and soul into the job.”
Sundberg said he will not be pursuing a recount because he doesn’t believe it will change the outcome, but feels like he “let a lot of people down.” The two-time incumbent said he will miss his fellow supervisors and coastal commissioners, and thanked county staff, his supporters, friends and family.
“I am proud to be the only Native American to sit on the BOS, and hopefully someone will be the second, and that critical voice will be projected through our local, state, and fed government,” Sundberg said in the post. “I am also very grateful for the lifelong friendships I have made in the last 8 years.”
Sundberg also released a copy of an email he sent to Madrone this morning, congratulating the Humboldt State University lecturer “on a tough election and ultimate victory” and noting that he will do everything he can to promote a smooth transition in January. Read more below.
The full text of Sundberg’s public release:
The final election results have come in and we are down by  votes. I do not think a recount will change anything, so I am conceding the election to Mr. Madrone. I feel like I let a lot of people down who invested time, energy, and money into our re-election, and for that I apologize. At the end of the day, I put my heart and soul into the job and gave it my very best effort, so I am content with the outcome. I also think I have left the District in better shape, with roads, full Sheriff substation, and Emergency coverage to name a few. I am proud to be the only Native American to sit on the BOS, and hopefully someone will be the second, and that critical voice will be projected through our local, state, and fed government. I am also very grateful for the lifelong friendships I have made in the last 8 years. I will certainly miss my colleagues on the Board and the Coastal Commission, they are dedicated and top notch people. I will also miss our staff, we are very lucky in Humboldt to have such dedication, and I appreciate everything they do every day. Finally, I would like to thank my friends and family, I was not able to spend as much time with you all, but you understood. My wife and daughter especially, putting up with all the time away and the drama that is politics so I could serve our Community, I love you very much. We are not going anywhere, so I will stay involved and very much look forward to the next chapter in my life starting in 2019.
Thank you all for the support, well wishes, prayers, encouragement, and inspiration, we appreciate it very much,
Sundberg’s email to Madrone:
Hello Mr. Madrone,
I wanted to reach out and congratulate you and your campaign team on a tough election and ultimate victory. I also wanted to let you know I will not be challenging the results by asking for a recount, and I am conceding the election to you. I have no hard feelings and I will be committed to doing everything possible for a smooth transition in January. Please reach out if you need anything from me.