Ventura County Offices – 2022 Primary

Note: this post will be periodically updated! (05/26/2022)

QUICK LINKS TO: Federal candidates, State candidates, County candidates, Local Measures, Voting/registration information, Ballot drop-off locations, In-person voting locations, Other voting guides/endorsements.

Due to the 2020 census, districts have been redrawn.  YOUR district may have changed. Check new 2021 maps for Board of SupervisorsAssembly, State Senate, Congress

Civil Conejo: “When elected leaders & candidates speak at McCoy’s Godspeak, they empower the extremists who have turned the Conejo Valley into a hub of anti-science, anti-Vaxx and election disinformation.” We’ve noted which candidates have appeared before this group.

Superintendent of Schools, Ventura County

There is only one candidate for this office. (VC Star)

Cesar Morales – Appointed Incumbent

After two months as deputy superintendent, Cesar Morales was appointed as Ventura County superintendent of schools Monday morning.

The Ventura County Board of Education made the unanimous vote after interviewing Morales during open session at a special board meeting.

“I will dedicate myself to ensuring that our schools come back better than they were before and that all students have the opportunity to achieve their dreams, whatever their background may be,” said Morales in a Monday statement following the appointment.

  • Dr. Cesar Morales
  • Age: 
  • City of residence: 
  • Occupation: Current VC Superintendent of Schools, Superintendent of Oxnard School District
  • Education: UCLA, Loyola Marymount University
  • Funding:
  • Website:

Supervisor, Ventura County – District 2

District 2: Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Somis, Oak Park and northern and eastern portions of Camarillo See new map

Debate videos

In what’s shaping up to be the most crucial Ventura County supervisor’s race in decades, two Republicans (Jeff Gorell and businessman Tim McCarthy) are attempting to sink a Thousand Oaks councilwoman’s bid to succeed the board’s longtime environmental champion, Linda Parks.

The election could flip the Board of Supervisors’ 3-2 votes on environmental issues if a conservative majority is elected in June or in a November runoff.

“Voters will have the decision on whether the values of the board held for the last 40 years will continue or whether they will take a radical departure,” said Steven Auclair, chairman of the Ventura County Democratic Party.

He said the board’s pro-environment and public health stance that began in the early 1980s could be lost in this election.

“We fully expect oil and developers will try to influence this election to gain control of the Board of Supervisors,” Auclair said.

Democratic Club of the Conejo Valley: NOTE: Five-term incumbent Linda Parks reached the end of term limits. Thousand Oaks Councilwoman Claudia Bill-de la Peña’s opponents, Jeff Gorell and Tim McCarthy, have spoken at Rob McCoy’s Godspeak and aligned themselves with the far right.


In the County Clerk race, both of Michelle Ascencion’s opponents have spoken at McCoy’s Godspeak and referenced the false Dominion conspiracy theories.”

Supervisor -District 2 Claudia Bill-De-La-Peña 

  • Age: 55
  • City of residence: Thousand Oaks
  • Occupation: Mayor of Thousand Oaks, Newswriter
  • Education: CA Lutheran University, UT El Paso
  • Funding:
  • Website:

Sample of endorsements. Complete list of endorsements:

Julia BrownleySALUD CARBAJALHenry Stern
Linda parks 1
sierra clubSEIU 721SEIU 2015

Additional comments:

(Ventura County Dems) “For over 20 years, Thousand Oaks Councilwoman Claudia Bill-de la Peña has served her community. A proven independent and honest voice, Claudia has worked hard for her community and has established a solid reputation for being fair, honest, and trustworthy.”

(Indivisible Conejo)Wednesday evening’s Chamber of Commerce/Acorn candidates forum (watch it here: demonstrated the stakes in this crucial election that will decide the balance of power on the Board of Supervisors. Bill-de la Peña forcefully made the case that respect for science and the environment at the county level depend on her election. She also trapped opponent Jeff Gorell in his inconsistency, irresponsibility and occasional hypocrisy, and revealed him as the right-winger he is rather than the moderate he pretends to be. Meanwhile, the proceedings reinforced the unfitness of “Move the Needle” extremist Tim McCarthy.


Mr. Gorell has also been interviewed by McCoy’s propaganda paper, the “Conejo Guardian”, where Gorell proudly noted that he helped the anti-vaxxer, pro-insurrectionist, anti-science McCoy first get elected.

Gorell spoke minutes after a business owner (who violated public health regulations and was invited to speak by Godpseak) rattled off conspiracy theories to robust applause.” They have posted a partial video on their page, and posted a link to the full video here: Gorell’s quotes are from about an hour into the video. Civil Conejo notes: “Watch the speaker about 15 minutes into the video — he rattles off all the conspiracy theories McCoy teaches to his flock. Note that Godspeak has to use Rumble because the COVID disinformation and extremism they spread leads to their videos being removed from YouTube.”

Jeff Gorell (endorsements here)

Tim McCarthy (endorsements here)
ALERT!: The CA Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA) gave out only (3) recommendations for local candidates across the WHOLE STATE. Tim McCarthy was one of them.

Supervisor, Ventura County – District 4

Four candidates are seeking the District 4 seat...Ed Abele, a retired prosecutor; businessman Dean Kunicki; Moorpark Mayor Janice Parvin; and Bernardo Perez, a trustee of the Ventura County Community College District. Incumbent Bob Huber has decided not to seek a second term.

It’s possible no one will be elected supervisor in June because the winner must receive more than 50% of the vote. In that case, the top two vote-getters will run against each other in the Nov. 8 general election.”

Supervisor Bernando Perez – District 4 – Trustee of the Ventura County Community College District.

District 4: Simi Valley, Moorpark See new map

League of Women Voters – District 4 Candidate forum: VIDEO 

GOOD club
SEIU 721Liuna laborer internationalLiana

Additional comments:

(Ventura County Dems) “Bernardo Perez has extensive community- and elected office-based leadership experience that spans over four decades, including twelve years on the Moorpark City Council including a term as Mayor. Since 2010, he has represented District 4 (Simi Valley/Moorpark) as a Ventura County Community College District (VCCCD) Trustee.

Edward Abele – District 4 – Trustee of the Ventura County Community College District.

Assessor, Ventura County

Longtime Ventura County Assessor Dan Goodwin announced that he will not seek reelection after serving in the office for 23 years.  Chief Deputy Assessor Keith Taylor and Bradley Coburn, a Lake Sherwood resident, are on the ballot for June’s primary election. He endorses his top assistant, Keith Taylor.

Keith Taylor – VC Chief Deputy Assessor of Valuation

SEIU 721Central Coast Labor Council

Additional comments:
(Indivisible Conejo) This is another race that opened suddenly this spring, with the retirement of incumbent Dan Goodwin. Chief Deputy Assessor Keith Taylor is clearly the more qualified candidate, and has bipartisan endorsements including some from labor. He also has the support of his outgoing boss.  

Bradley Coburn – Appraiser/Senior Policymaker

  • Age: 
  • City of residence: Lake Sherwood
  • Occupation: Senior Policymaker, Government Sponsored Entity 
  • Education: University of California, Irvine
  • Funding: “not seeking endorsements nor accepting donations”
  • Complete list of endorsements: “I am beholden only to you, the people of Ventura County, unlike my opponent who is collecting endorsements from politicians eager to keep the status quo in the Assessor’s Office.”
    • Bradley, they could just be saying that they know he’d do a good job. Seriously, get a grip.  
  • Website:
No endorsements.We never recommend
anyone without them.
Who would trust him with this office?

District Attorney, Ventura Co. – only (2) candidates = final election

  • VC Star article on DA debate here.
  • League of Women Voters – District Attorney Candidate forum: VIDEO 

Senior prosecutor John Barrick is trying to unseat District Attorney Erik Nasarenko, who is running for election after being appointed to the spot a little over a year ago. County supervisors picked Nasarenko, a sex crimes prosecuter to fill the post vacated by District Attorney Greg Totten over six other candidates, including Barrick, but he must win the election to continue in the job after the end of the year.”

The board chose Nasarenko after he said he was concerned not only about victims and keeping dangerous criminals off the streets but also a just approach with defendants, including homeless people and those with serious mental illness.”

Eric Nasarenko – VC District Attorney 

Sample of Nasarenko’s endorsements below.

Central Coast Labor Council
Julia BrownleySALUD CARBAJALMonique limonHenry Stern
Linda parks 1
Vianey lopez
Liuna laborer internationalSEIU 721
VCHPCentral Coast Labor CouncilIBEW NATIONAL

Additional comments:

(Ventura County Dems) “District Attorney Erik Nasarenko was appointed District Attorney by a unanimous vote of the Ventura County Board of Supervisors in January of 2021. A former prosecutor and Mayor of Ventura, he has worked hard to keep Ventura County safe.

(Indivisible Conejo) “This is an easy choice. Nasarenko has offered a new direction for the DA’s office, focusing on community partnerships and serving all residents. His opponent, John Barrick, panders to the right wing with a single-minded focus on “victim’s rights” that leaves him inattentive to the diverse needs of a changing county. The old adage applies here: When you see two choices on a ballot, vote for the smart one.

John Barrick – Senior Deputy DA

Ye shall be known by the company you keep. Democratic Club of the Conejo Valley: Mr. Barrick has spoken at Rob McCoy’s Godspeak and has aligned himself with the far right.
Wiser heads than ours have warned us of voting for the candidates favored by the police/sheriff unions. Law enforcements organizations have become increasingly filled with rightwing officers, according to a state-wide audit of five law enfocement agencies in CA (not Ventura), which “found bias among officers toward people of color, immigrants, women and LGBTQ people, as well as a smattering of support for far-right extremist organizations such as the Proud Boys and Three Percenters”. Some have even directly coordinated with these hate groups.
White Supremacists are active in Ventura County, as evidenced by a continual campaign of posters and stickers attached to light posts, and two public employees— one who worked with the Sheriff’s Office and an investigative assistant formerly employed by the district attorney — were caught on camera destroying a Black Lives Matter sign.
BTW, Mr. Barrack did not mention White Supremacy as a problem in his fearmongering speech. (29:26)


Endorsements to look out for: Mike Judge, Keith Mashburn

Auditor/Controller, Ventura County – (1) candidate

Jeffery Burgh – Ventura County Auditor-Controller

Clerk/Recorder, Ventura County

County Clerk-Recorder Mark Lunn decided not to seek a fourth terms in the June primary. “Highlights of his tenure were record voter registration and turnout along with measures to deter fraud and identify theft, he said.  Lunn said he increased the security of government records by adding a new land records system to thwart hackers, requiring identification for individuals seeking records of births, marriages and deaths, and other measures.”  He endorses his top assistant, Michelle Ascension.

League of Women Voters – Clerk/Recorder Candidate forum: VIDEO 

Michelle Ascencion

  • Age: 44
  • City of residence: Oxnard
  • Occupation: City Clerk/Public Information Officer in Port Hueneme, City Clerk in Oxnard, VC Assistant Clerk-Recorder
  • Education: Oxnard College, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
  • Political affiliation: She has not registered with a part to avoid bias
  • Funding:
  • Complete list of endorsements:
  • Website:

Here are samples of Michelle Ascension’s endorsements, including a strong recommendation from her boss – the person she’ll replace, and a wide range of people representing all the locations her office will be working with during elections. This is why we study endorsements.

Mark Lunn, Ventura County Clerk-Recorder & Registrar of Voters: “I’m confident when Michelle is elected as County Clerk and Recorder, her experience will position her well to hit the ground running on Day One. She has my full support and endorsement.”

Central Coast Labor Council
Julia BrownleyJACQUI IRWIN
Linda parks 1
Vianey lopez
LianaCentral Coast Labor CouncilSEIU 721
Liuna laborer international

Additional comments:

(Indivisible Conejo) Ascencion is the only qualified candidate in this race, which was late in starting because of incumbent Mark Lunn’s sudden retirement in March. She has made lots of friends across the county with her impressive credentials (former city clerk for Oxnard and Port Hueneme) as well as her charismatic and nonpartisan candidacy. One of her opponents, “Sheriff” Bruce Boyer, is laughable, no more qualified than he was when he wanted to be the county’s chief law enforcement officer, and easily dismissed. The other, Jeff Hargleroad, is a dyed-in-the-wool Republican whose candidacy is built on “Big Lie” concerns about “election integrity” — i.e., depriving as many people as possible of the right to vote. Hargleroad will appear on Republican endorsement mailers, while Ascencion will have to compete without a similar advantage — so it’s important that good-government advocates across the political spectrum support her with our work and our financial contributions in the coming weeks!

Her opponents – Time-out to do an ENDORSEMENT CHECK!

Should political inclination matter for a non-partisan office? It shouldn’t, but we’ve lost trust in a party that tried to steal a presidential election, lies about election integrity and is actively politicizing their oversight. No one wants to elect someone either corrupt or naive enough to state that millions of votes were stolen in 2020, but how do you know someone’s political bent if they don’t list it on the ballot? Endorsement lists are very revealing.

But first, how much “voter fraud” are we talking about?

We check in with the rightest-of-right-wing sources – the Heritage Voter Fraud Cases database for California – for the lowdown on our liberal hotbed of corruption!

  • In 2022, CA prosecuted 3 cases of ineligible voting (In LA County).
  • In 2021, once again, 3 cases.
  • In 2020, a VERITABLE CRIME WAVE – 8 cases.

So…14 verifiable cases in 3 years.

The rule of rabbit holes: The more strongly a GOP candidate rants about “election integrity,” in direct contradiction the evidence of their own party’s database, the more we are guaranteed that our tax dollars will be wasted on silly posturing and that they should not be trusted with this particular public office.

Here are the two undercover-GOP opponents to Michelle Ascension.

  • Bruce “Please elect me to something, anything!” Boyer
    • Mr. Boyer’s first action in an earlier race for county sheriff was to ignore the laws regarding the qualifications for that office. Mark Lunn, our current Clerk Recorder, threw him off the ballot, for which we respect the hell out of him.
    • Boyer’s rant on “voter integrity” bizarrely includes inaccurate information – he believes that voters’ identities are not verified before their vote is counted. Maybe he’s never heard of provisional ballots, which is voter registration 101. Maybe he can get Mr. Lunn to give him a tour of the office and basic procedures.
    • And at the top of Mr. Boyer’s current election website, there’s this “2ndA rights” graphic, which is a definite “what the hell?” dogwhistle, not just for a candidate for non-partisan office such as clerk/recorder, but also as a clear indication of a serious lack of judgement and boundaries, were he tragically to be elected.
Bruce has no endorsements…This is not a surprise.
  • Jeff Hargleroad.
    • Mr. Hargleroad’s dogwhistles to the far right are more subdued than Boyer’s, but we heard his “Restoring Confidence in our Elections” on his website and the phrase “integrity of our elections” on his candidate statement loud and clear. Therefore, we were totally not-surprised by his endorsements by our local GOP organizations, and two gun-related businesses, but he had some other “interesting” endorsements.
      • appears to a “FREEDOM-loving” group of anti-vaxxers, dedicated to overturning state legislation on vaccination requirements and public health. One of the bills they dislike, for example, is AB-2098 – “Physicians and surgeons: unprofessional conduct.” If it passes, it would allow the Medical Board to more easily remove licenses from doctors who profit from the very misinformation that fuels groups like these.
      • CUFF (Citizens United For Freedom) – essentially a MAGA-Christian version of TurnThe (Interesting read: Martin Luther’s take on how Jesus’ commandment to love thy neighbor should be interpreted during a plague.)
      • MovetheNeedle – the needle moves ever-rightward in this MAGA group that is disturbed by us lefties and socialists. They rail against non-existent voter fraud, sex education for kids, public schools, criminal justice reform that helps people and immigrants – the usual suspects.
  • Democratic Club of the Conejo Valley has noted that both OPPONENTS of Ms. Ascension have spoken at Rob McCoy’s Godspeak and aligned themselves with the far right.
  • Hmmmm….how did Hargleroad get his name into a seemingly “DEMOCRATIC” slate mailer?

Play along with us! Who is this “Coalition for Literacy?” (Don’t confuse them with the National Coalition for Literacy, which has a real website.) Who runs it? Why do they do these mailers? Is it a fundraiser for their mysterious book giveaways? Has anyone seen one of their events?
Here’s what we know so far…

Just for fun, before you continue onwards, do this call action!

Make a call!

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Assemblymember [___] to vote “YES” on AB-2098 Physicians and surgeons: unprofessional conduct.

  • State Assemblymember Steve Bennett: (CA-37): email, SAC (916) 319-2037, SB (805) 564-1649, VTA (805) 641-3700
  • State Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin: (CA-44): email, SAC (916) 319-2044, CAM (805) 482-1904, OX (805) 483-4488
  • Not your people? Which assemblymember/state senator is mine?:

Sheriff, Ventura County

NOTE: Sheriff’s Cmdr. James Fryhoff is running against the sheriff. Ayub removed Fryhoff from his position as chief of the Thousand Oaks Police Department for reasons he has declined to fully disclose.

“VC Sheriff Ayub, Jeff Gorell, Moorpark Mayor Janice Parvin and Jim Fryhoff all spoke at McCoy’s Godspeak. McCoy hosts extremists on a near weekly basis, including anti-vaxxers and Jan 6th insurrectionists who have pled guilty.” (Indivisible Ventura: we noted that Mayor Parvin endorsed BOTH candidates for sheriff. Knowing who endorsers are is a powerful tool in deciding for whom to vote. In this case, both candidates were willing to pander to her belief system)”
“Fryhoff spoke there in August / September when McCoy endorsed him (McCoy rescinded his endorsement of Fryhoff in March).
Both candidates have continued to speak at extremist events; both candidates spoke at the anti-public health business group called BRAVE in the past couple months.
At Godspeak in March, Ayub spoke minutes after a business owner (who violated public health regulations and was invited to speak by Godpseak) rattled off conspiracy theories to robust applause.”

  • VC Star article on DA debate here.
  • Thousand Oaks Acorn article here.
  • VC Reporter article here.
  • Interestingly, the CA Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA) gave no grades at all to either Ayub or Fryhoff.
  • League of Women Voters – Candidate forum between Sheriff Bill Ayub and Jim Fryhoff video here.
  • Justice in Ventura County Candidate forum between Sheriff Bill Ayub and Jim Fryhoff video. Lots of great hard questions were asked!

Indivisible Conejo

No recommendation. “…most of those races are easy calls for progressive voters; unfortunately, one of them — the race for Sheriff — remains utterly perplexing.

Incumbent sheriff Bill Ayub‘s performance has been pretty much par for the course for a Ventura County law enforcement leader: good enough if you’re a white person who stays on the right side of the law and doesn’t really care about anyone who doesn’t look like you; mediocre (at best) for everyone else. Ayub occasionally has demonstrated some sympathy for social-justice concerns (or, at least, an antipathy toward far-right craziness). Two such occasions followed the Borderline shooting: 

  • his participation in the gun violence forum we helped organize, where he joined Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin to talk at length about Gun Violence Restraining Orders;
  • and his actions during the “Blue Bowl” controversy, when he backed VCSO out of participating once he learned the organizers of the charity football game were far-right extremists. 

However, Ayub hasn’t followed through on GVROs with any enthusiasm, and his more recent actions severely undercut the even-handedness and empathy he had seemed to offer in 2019:

  • heavy police presence and redirection of traffic around Black Lives Matter protests, juxtaposed with a refusal to interfere at all with “Move the Needle” and Nazi overpass demonstrations that were much more disruptive;
  • his unrepentant trolling for votes at events sponsored by MtN, the “Brave Coalition” and other far-right groups, while he had yet to approach a single one of the county’s social-justice groups before he was invited to last week’s Justice in Ventura County forum;
  • his refusal to end VCSO’s voluntary cooperation with ICE, enabling the continuation of immigrants’ transfers for deportation;
  • his lack of interest in considering solutions to in-school behavioral issues that might work better than the current brigade of oft-intimidating School Resource Officers;
  • and his refusal to consider initiatives that might reallocate resources away from policing in dealing with mental-health crises, persons with disabilities or the homeless. 

Sheriff Ayub is a nice, mild-mannered public servant, but his priorities clearly leave little room for ours. His opponent, former Thousand Oaks Police chief Jim Fryhoff, is also a nice guy, and he has the support of a few social-justice advocates whom we respect. That’s because he’s capable of talking a pretty good game, at least in private, when it comes to “community policing,” and likes to say he’s “eager to have a conversation” on issues like ICE collaboration and resource reallocation. (Though he’s also capable of obnoxiously dismissing “defund” suggestions while trolling for far-right votes in the same forums Ayub has frequented.)

Indeed, Fryhoff’s pursuit of such votes occasionally has been downright alarming, as when his name appeared on the speaker’s list for a public “Brave Coalition” event last fall that also featured Trumpist “Big Lie”/insurrection proponents like disgraced attorney Lin Wood. He backed out of that appearance when we and others called him on the event’s extremism…but he has continued to appear before such groups in private, just as Ayub has.

Fryhoff’s chief argument for election is that he wants to reverse some Ayub policies that he says have harmed VCSO’s standing in the community, and that have damaged the rank-and-file’s morale. He says he wants to focus less on quotas that evaluate officers on the basis of citations and arrests completed, and to focus more on positive interactions with residents. He also wants to reverse an Ayub policy that eliminated late-career advancement that enabled deputies to retire with greater benefits. Such positions have earned Fryhoff endorsements from the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association and other unions. The Acorn newspapers did an admirable job covering this difference in the candidates’ stances in this article:…/stance-of-rank-and-file…/. Unfortunately, since police unions are notorious hotbeds of far-right and white-supremacist sentiment, Fryhoff’s support from the officer corps doesn’t engender a ringing endorsement from progressives.

So there you have it–a Rubik’s Cube of an election, as annoying and full of misguided twists as it is impossible to figure out. (Unless you’re one of those folks who can solve a Rubik’s Cube, in which case, please pick a candidate for us!)

Indivisible Ventura

During our research, a letter to the Acorn editor criticizing Ayub for endorsements by retired law enforcement officers caught our eye, so we went back in for a second look – BOTH candidates have lots of retired law enforcement officers on their endorsement lists, Ayub just has more. His list also includes a large number of active-duty sheriffs endorsing him from other cities, possibly as part of his leadership role in the Major County Sheriffs of America, a group that was in the news recently for endorsing Biden’s nominee Steve Dettelbach, to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The letter writer also noted that Fryhoff’s police union endorsements indicated he had “backing of their troops,” a term we dislike for those charged with keeping the peace in a civilian community. We, on the other hand, look at this as a serious issue, as there has been a nationwide rightward lurch in the endorsements of police organizations, already a refuge for White Supremacists and violent offenders, along with a growing right-wing “constitutional sheriff” movement which promotes the idea that sheriffs are the highest law enforcement officer within a county’s borders—superior not only to local police, but also to officers and agents of the federal government

Now, a short educational digression on “constitutional sheriffs”

The notion of sheriff supremacy was critical to the ideology of the ultraconservative John Birch Society, founded in 1958, as well as the racist, anti-tax Posse Comitatus group of the 1970s. Today, it binds together groups like the Oath Keepers, Sagebrush Rebels, Second Amendment advocates, county- and states’-rights groups and border security activists, who look to sheriffs to wield clout on their behalf. The Constitutional Sheriffs and Police Officers Association (CSPOA) has over 4,500 dues paying members and over 200 sheriffs. CSPOA has urged elected officials to defy recent supreme court rulings, and members have advocated against federal gun laws, mask mandates and closures, abortion and in favor of removing all restrictions on oil and gas companies. Sheriffs are also responsible for tanking Congress’ efforts last year towards enacting meaningful police reform legislation. (Report on CSPOA from ADL)

So, is there any relationship between this group and our candidates for sheriff?

We could not find a searchable members list for CSPOA. However, Ayub‘s name was used on an 2021 flyer for one of their events for his supposed refusal to enforce “plandemic curfews,” along with three of his campaign endorsers, Orange Co. Sheriff Don Barnes, Sutter Co. Sheriff Brandon Barnes and San Bernardino Sheriff John McMahon, now retired. The CSPOA may have pulled his name from articles like this, this and this.

Was Ayub actually refusing to follow the Governor’s Stay at Home Order as described in CSPOA’s flyer or was he trying to find a reasonable way to enforce an unpopular order over a large population with a limited amount of manpower?

When the 10 p.m-to-5 a.m. curfew order was enacted, Ayub joined sheriffs in Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange and Los Angeles counties in announcing they would take an “educational rather than punitive approach to violators.

Discussing the latest COVID-19 order, Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said that the department’s approach to enforcement of the “continuously evolving health orders” has not changed from the start of the pandemic.

Our approach is one of educating the public of the health orders and encouraging compliance with them,” Ayub said in a statement to FOX 11.

Enforcement has always been an option for our staff to use with considerable discretion. However, our primary goal is to seek voluntary compliance whenever possible.” (Memo from Ayub on enforcement of pandemic restrictions)

(The video below was taken at a venue with COVID-safety-denier T.O. minister Rob McCoy of Godspeak Calvary Chapel and a hard-right audience whose main concern appears to be lack of access to guns and ammo during the pandemic. Ayub explains how his “education” policy kept state enforcement out of the county, a consequence more openly extremist sheriffs faced. Note: Fryhoff has met with McCoy as well.)

The question itself illustrates the immense power the office of sheriff has for interpretation of law.

When COVID cases kept rising, and Newsom ordered shutdowns of in-person dining, some sheriffs, citing medical misinformation, “personal responsibility,” and the constitution, refused to follow directives of both the governor and medical experts. Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco flatly stated that “we will not be responding to calls for service based solely on noncompliance with the new order or social distancing and mask guidelines.” By contrast, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said he would assign eight full-time deputies to help investigate health order complaints and quickly issue citations when residents refuse to comply.

So far, we’ve been lucky.

We do not believe Ayub increased his efforts to counteract Newsom’s directives beyond his initial “education” policy and we don’t know what his opponent Fryhoff would do in similar circumstances.

But, we know now that which laws and policies are enforced appears to be their choice, not ours.

We may not be so lucky in the future. Bruce Boyer, who is currently running for County Clerk and Recorder, has a campaign website with a large advertisement to turn the city of Simi Valley into a “2nd Amendment Rights Sanctuary.” Although he was turned away for his lack of required law enforcment credentials, he tried to enter an earlier race to become sheriff of Ventura County.

During the rise of the constitutional sheriff, what can be done?

After the latest incidence of neo-nazis attaching banners on the outside face of overpass fences, we contacted CalTrans. They confirmed that it was illegal to attach any object to CalTrans property without approval requiring permits for the attachments and liability insurance, and that their rules were usually enforced by CHP. When questioned about this incident at the Justice forum, both Ayub and Fryhoff deflected to BLM protests and hand-held signs on overpasses. Neither addressed the actual risk presented that day of hanging signs possilby falling on cars below. The CHP would have stopped those hanging the banners for violating CalTrans safety rules. The two candidates for sheriff, however, indicated that the neo-nazis’ first amendment rights were superior to the possibility of tragedy – the equivalent of yelling “FIRE” in a crowded theater.

Fortunately, for this incident, no one was injured. However, that may not always be the case.

When law enforcement refuses to enforce the laws, it sends a dangerous signal to extremists,” says Jessica Goad of the Center for Western Priorities. “It serves to embolden those who tend towards violence. This rhetoric and stance has an extremely chilling effect on the people who are doing their jobs — from park rangers to environmental activists. The thought that the sheriff doesn’t enforce the law is scary.

A Reddit commentor wrote: “Is my sheriff accountable to me, and my fellow constituents, and sworn to uphold the law (even ones he/she may not agree with, whether they are Fed, State or local)? Or, is he influenced by something, or someone else? My Sheriff is not there to interpret the Constitution for me. That’s what the Judicial system is for.

A difficult choice for sheriff? Yes. In fact, we noticed that Janice Parvin, Mayor of the City of Moorpark, has apparently endorsed both of them.

Our take so far – the Devil you know: We here at Indivisible Ventura are annoyed – it feels like voters are just being asked to referee a toxic employment kerfuffle between Ayub and Fryhoff – not consciously choosing between distinctive concepts and strategies. That, along with both of them kowtowing of the extremist factions of our county – no wonder everyone is having trouble deciding how to vote. Wiser heads than ours remind us some simple “sorting-hat” tests: beware of whomever the police/sheriff unions are backing and to remember that a sheriff has four years of unaccountable power. Several plan on writing additional commentary on this race that we will post here.

Bill Ayub – Ventura County Sheriff

  • Age: 54
  • City of residence: Ventura 
  • Occupation: Current VC Sheriff, Assistant Sheriff
  • Education: CA State University-Long Beach, CA State University-Northridge
  • Funding:
  • Website:
  • His complete list of endorsements is long, filled with law enforcement and private citizens. Here’s a sample of his non-law enforcement endorsements.

Jim Fryhoff – Ventura Sheriff’s Commander

  • Age: 
  • City of residence: Simi Valley 
  • Occupation: VC Deputy Sheriff, Chief of Police in T.O and Ojai, Operations Commander of Detention Services Bureau “Cmdr. Jim Fryhoff, who has held several management positions in the office, is opposing first-term Sheriff Bill Ayub.”
  • Education: San Diego State University, University of Oklahoma
  • Funding:
  • Website:
  • Fryhoff’s endorsement list is also long. Here’s a sample of his police union and non-law enforcement endorsements.
Ventura Co. Professional FirefightersOxnard Firefighters 1684
SEIU 721calaborfedLiuna laborer international
Central Coast Labor Council

Treasurer/Tax Collector, Ventura County

Treasurer-Tax Collector Steven Hintz has both decided not to seek a fourth term. Hintz, 74, of Ventura, said he felt he had achieved nearly everything he set out to do, including cost and management efficiencies. The exception is a new software system for administering property taxes that will be in place by the time he leaves.  He endorses his top assistant, Sue Horgan.

May 12: REGISTER  for League of Women Voters – Treasurer/Tax Collector forum between Sue Horgan and Ron Speakman

Sue Horgan – Assistant Treasurer, County of Ventura

From the Democratic Club of the Conejo Valley: “Sue Horgan, the current Assistant Treasurer-Tax Collector, is running for the position and may be the best candidate. She is a former longtime Ojai City Councilmember and is not registered with a party.”

  • Age: 66
  • City of residence: Ojai 
  • Occupation: VC Assistant Treasurer-tax Collector, Former Mayor of Ojai, Banker
  • Education: University of Colorado, Boulder, Union Bank Management and Lending Academy
  • Funding:
  • Complete list of endorsements: 
  • Website: 
Central Coast Labor Council

Additional comments:

(Indivisible Conejo) Yet another competitive campaign triggered by a retirement, that of incumbent Steven Hintz. He has endorsed his assistant, Horgan, against Republican Ron Speakman.

Ron Speakman – Accountant

  • Age: 65
  • City of residence: Camarillo 
  • Occupation: CPA, Financial Advisor, Pleasant Valley School District’s board of trustees
  • Education: CA State University, Northridge
  • Funding:
  • Complete list of endorsements: 
  • Website: 

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