Admin Note: Supervisor Derry has indicated he returned the reporter’s phone call. The reporter never called back.

Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 10/29/2012 08:30:49 PM PDT

Job growth, public safety and zero tolerance for government corruption are among the key issues for candidates vying for the 3rd and 1st district San Bernardino County supervisor seats as the Nov. 6 election nears.

In the 3rd District race, incumbent Neil Derry and former San Manuel tribal chairman James Ramos are in a fierce battle over who’s the most qualified, the least ethically challenged and the best candidate to spur job growth and stabilize the economy.

For 1st District candidates Robert Lovingood, a High Desert businessman, and Rick Roelle, a sheriff’s lieutenant and Apple Valley councilman, their campaign platforms are centered on two issues: job growth and public safety. Lovingood’s top priority is the former, and Roelle stresses the latter.

All the supervisorial candidates agree on one thing: corruption in local government must cease, and more checks and balances need to be in place to ensure that.

Ramos scored a victory over Derry in the June primary, taking in more than 47 percent of the vote to Derry’s 33 percent.

Ramos has surpassed Derry in fundraising efforts as well. According to the latest campaign finance reports, the year-to-date contributions received by Ramos’ campaign exceeded $839,000; Derry’s campaign reported donations of more than $315,000.

“I think that says people are genuinely ready for a change in San Bernardino County,” Ramos said. “There needs to be a new era where San Bernardino County constituents won’t have to cringe every time they open the paper and read about an official being indicted or charged.”

Derry, elected in 2008, launched a brutal campaign against Ramos after Ramos announced his candidacy for supervisor in May 2011, shortly after the state Attorney General’s Office charged Derry with three felonies for laundering a $5,000 campaign contribution from a Highland land developer.

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