The Crow's Nest
Oxnard’s next mayor predicted
By The Spotter 10/11/2012
The Spotter is proud to predict that the next mayor of the great city of Oxnard will be … who knows?
Rarely has it been so difficult to forecast the outcome of a Ventura County election. But this one — with three sitting council people vying to replace incumbent Tom Holden — is baffling. The Spotter has been hard at work talking to all the usual experts and prognosticators. And everyone agrees: This race is too close to call. But here is how the handicapping breaks down.
Carmen Ramirez: Pros – Latina, female, new blood, smart, independent. Cons – ultra- liberal, brief track record.
Irene Pinkard: Pros – African American, female, smart, education background, well-known name. Cons – low visibility, seen as part of the “old” City Council (fairly or unfairly).
Tim Flynn: Pros – Name recognition, independent, experienced campaigner. Cons – anti-everything, unfocused, ran unsuccessfully before.
Donald Thibeault: Pros – Great cowboy hat, veteran, teacher. Cons – whoever heard of him?
Before we go any further, let’s throw out a disclaimer — who in their right mind would want to be mayor of Oxnard and preside over what must be the most frustrating council meetings outside of a Romanian asylum? A cadre of eight to 10 Oxnard citizens each comment for three minutes on EVERY council item, often without any relevance to the agenda item. It’s like Friends meets a play by Jean-Paul Sartre in a city council meeting. It would be comical if it didn’t take until midnight to end every meeting, with cops on duty collecting overtime pay.
But the Spotter isn’t paid just to observe, the Spotter is paid to predict. (And where is that paycheck, anyway?) And so without any further theater of the absurd, the Spotter predicts Carmen Ramirez will win the mayor’s post in Oxnard. She has support from labor unions (as does Flynn) and has run a well-organized campaign. But the truth about most elections is that voters — when they cannot make up their minds — vote for people who look like them or have last names that sound like theirs. Ramirez is the lone Latina candidate for mayor in a city where more than 60 percent of the electorate is Latino. She wins this election. You heard it here first.