Supervisor Neil Derry left. Tribal Member James Ramos right.


Published: 08 June 2012 06:15 PM

In his attempt to unseat county Supervisor Neil Derry, former San Manuel tribal Chairman James Ramos won strong support from east San Bernardino Valley cities in the 3rd District, according to a review of unofficial precinct results.

Ramos won precincts in Redlands, Highland, Loma Linda, Grand Terrace, Mentone and Yucaipa while Derry performed best in desert and mountain areas such as Big Bear, Oak Glen and the Lucerne Valley. Former Twentynine Palms Mayor Jim Bagley picked up support in his home base.

The unofficial results from Tuesday’s election showed Ramos with 47 percent of the vote, Derry with 33 percent and Bagley with 20 percent.

Because no candidate won a majority of votes, Ramos and Derry the two top vote-getters are in a November runoff.

Election officials are still counting about 5,000 mail, provisional and damaged ballots. But unofficial results show that Ramos was the top vote-getter in 280 precincts, Derry in 145 precincts, and Bagley in 50 precincts.

Based on voter registration data, Ramos seemed to do better in Democratic-leaning areas than Derry and Bagley. They seemed to do about the same in Republican-leaning areas.

Pro-Ramos precincts average 35 percent Democratic registration, 41 percent Republican, and 19 percent no party preference. The pro-Derry precincts average 30 percent Democratic, 43 percent Republican, and 20 percent no party preference. And the pro-Bagley precincts average 29 percent Democratic, 42 percent Republican, and 22 percent no party preference.

Census data suggests that Ramos polled significantly better in areas with a greater number of Latino residents than either Derry or Bagley, who got more support in areas where whites makes up about two-thirds of the population.

In pro-Ramos precincts, Latinos average 37 percent of the population, whites are 45 percent and African-Americans are 9 percent.

In pro-Derry precincts, Latinos make up 25 percent of the population, whites are 64 percent, and African-Americans are 5 percent. Pro-Bagley precincts have a similar makeup: 20 percent Latino, 65 percent white, and 6 percent African-American.

The data reflects the demographics of the precincts but not who actually voted Tuesday.

The Derry campaign had hoped that the conservative leanings of the district would favor him and frequently referred to Ramos as a “liberal Democrat” in campaign mailers.

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