Tuesday , June 18 2024
Inland Empire Political News.001
Inland Empire Political News.001

County Races Shape Up

For those of us who thought that this year’s races for County elected offices would be ho hum, boy were we wrong.

Every race for County office is being contested; something that just a few weeks ago looked unlikely.

In the Board of Supervisors races there are two seats up for election, the 2nd and 4th District. The 4th District has been the one most noticed with Assemblyman Curt Hagman and Congresswoman Gloria Negrete McLeod headlining the race for retiring Supervisor Gary Ovitt’s seat. Both Hagman and McLeod come into the race with significant funding advantages.

Also throwing their hats into the ring are Ontario City Councilman and perennial candidate Paul Vincent Avila and current Chino Valley School Board Member James Na. The addition of the two lesser known and funded candidates makes it a near certainty that this election will not have a clear winner in the June Primary election and that we will have to wait for the November runoff.

The surprise of the election may be that 2nd District Supervisor Janice Rutherford has drawn a last minute opponent. Rutherford managed to anger many of her mountain constituents when she led the charge to split the mountain communities in the 2010 redistricting. Be careful what you wish for. She has drawn Lake Arrowhead resident and retired Sheriff’s Crime Scene Investigator Randolph Beasley as her opponent in the June election.

The 2nd District could be a barometer for future Board of Supervisors races. Rutherford’s fundraising has been hampered by her own campaign finance ordinance and she has managed to alienate all of the employee’s unions who have nearly $3 million in their Political Action Committees that they are free to spend however they wish.

Also of note, District Attorney Mike Ramos may be facing the biggest election challenge of his career from current Deputy District Attorney Grover Merritt. Yes, Merritt is the same person who was fired from the District Attorney’s office a number of years ago and sued Mike Ramos and the County to get his job back plus damages. Expect fireworks in this race which should be over in June.

What once promised to be a quiet election headlined by the County Vision and self-congratulation now appears to be headed for a tumultuous crescendo of epic proportions.

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