Supervisor Neil Derry Left. Tribal Member James Ramos right.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 -06:30 p.m.

The plot thickens in the race to represent San Bernardino County’s Third Supervisorial District.

Late last month San Manuel Tribal Member and Board of Supervisors Candidate James Ramos appeared with Supervisor Neil Derry at a candidate forum sponsored by the Highland Chamber of Commerce.

The result? Derry called out Ramos on several lies and distortions he used in the June primary election.

Ramos was caught flat-footed and unable to defend himself.

Derry placed Ramos’s exemption from State income taxes and his failed businesses front and center. Not to mention his stated opposition to using eminent domain to deal with underwater mortgages, even though the process was used to expand the right of way to his Tribe’s gambling casino.

Apparently that was all Ramos could take.

Since the Highland debacle Ramos has ducked out on two District forums with Derry.

Now trouble is brewing in the city of Loma Linda.

Sources tell the Loma Linda Chamber of Commerce is trying to setup a candidate forum between Derry and Ramos without success.

The stick in the mud here? Mr. Ramos of course!

The Ramos campaign has apparently informed the chamber that Mr. Ramos is unavailable for any morning or evening forum through Election Day.

The news isn’t sitting well with the Loma Linda business community.

Ramos gambled and tried to win the election outright in a three candidate race in June. A race with Derry facing fellow Republican Jim Bagley and Ramos, a life-long liberal Democrat.

A race in which Ramos spent more than $1 million.

Now the contest is head-to-head and Ramos appears to be less confident.