POLITICS | Ventura County GOP under fire for endorsements

By Michael Hernandez


VENTURA—The Ventura County GOP is under fire for endorsements of central committee incumbents while other candidates wishing a place within the GOP Central Committee are ignored.

At issue is not political candidates running for office that have been endorsed by the Ventura County Republican Party but 13 candidates on the ballot for Central Committee with endorsements on the website for:

  • District 1 (Ventura, Ojai): Mary Osborn, Jack Brueker, Lindsay Stetson;
  • District 2 (Thousand Oaks/Westlake Village): Dianne Alexander, Angela Nardone, John E. Anderson, Kerry J. Nelson, Chantal Margottin, and Tamara Howard;
  • District 3 (Port Hueneme, Camarillo, Santa Paula, Fillmore): Isarel IROD Rodriguez, Pamela Krasz, David P. Schlangen, and Sally Starr.

Especially in question is a slate of candidates that ran among the 14 candidates in District 2 (Thousand Oaks/Westlake Village) which also included:  Thomas Scott Adams, Craig Everett, Barbara Sponsler, Caleb Standafer, Jim Meyer, Arkady Milgram (incumbent), Carolyn Guillot, and Debra Tash.

“We have not had a ballot vote for eight years,” said non-endorsed District 2 Central Committee candidate Barbara Sponsler who said she has been involved in Conejo Valley politics for 40 years.   “You didn’t receive support unless you were a friend of the Central Committee Chair.”

“What is the GOP doing?” said District 2 Central Committee candidate Debra Tash.  “They don’t support candidates.  They don’t fundraise.”

A District 2 Central Committee candidate who did not wish to identify herself said, “I’ve been attending the Central Committee meetings for many years and what have we seen from the Ventura County GOP—nothing.  The Central Committee does not want elections but is filled with power-hungry people who do nothing.”

The Citizens Journal received a call from a District 5 GOP Central Committee member Alex Burum asking if a vote had been taken for endorsements on the Central Committee.   The subject line of an email sent out Feb. 4th by Burum to at least seven individuals read:  “Mischievous practices VC rep central committee.”

The Citizens Journal has learned that at issue, were statements allegedly made by Ventura County GOP Chair Mike Osborn in which he stated: “If there are no objections—the Ventura County GOP will support all incumbents.”

The problem reported to the Citizens Journal was the “lack of understanding” that this statement also applied to Central Committee elections and not just to candidate endorsements.  However, even that understanding has been challenged since not all Central Committee incumbents have been endorsed as evidenced in District 2 where incumbent Arkady Milgram (GOP County Treasurer) was not one of the incumbents endorsed on the GOP County website.

Besides Mike Osborn, Chair; the other members of the Ventura County Party Executive Committee are:  John Andersen, 1st Vice Chair; Israel Rodriguez, Secretary; Arkady Miligram, Treasurer; and Pamela Krausz, Executive Director.

Other Ventura County GOP Central Committee members in the two districts where there are not contested elections include:

  • District 4 (Simi Valley/Moorpark): John Absmeier, Dean Kunicki, Ray Cruz, Mike Judge, Charles Davis, and Josie Hirsch; and
  • District 5 (Oxnard): Alex Burum and Julie Hupp.

Challengers also running for Central Committee: District 1, Joan Lopez and Jack Remington, District 3, Deborah Baber.

Candidate Statements for seven (Dianne Alexander, Craig Everett, Angela Nardone, Caleb Standafer, Chantal Margottin, Jim Meyer, and Debra Tash) of the Ventura County GOP Central Committee can be found in the Conejo Valley Observer (a newsletter of the California Parent Alliance) at this link:  http://conejovalleyobserver.org/2020-candidates-for-ventura-county-republican-central-committee-district-2/.

The next GOP Central Committee meeting will be held on Feb. 26th at 7 p.m. (the fourth Wednesday of the month) at the Trigger Burst Training Center, 3537 Old Conejo Road, Newbury Park.


Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service; editor of the History Makers Report and founder of History Makers International—a community nonprofit serving youth and families in Ventura County, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor. He has worked 25 years as a middle school teacher in Monrovia and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email at [email protected].

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Joan Lopez

Mike – I just emailed a comment. Please let me know you received it. If you didn’t, Just ask Debra Tash as she has all the names of Fresh Faces candidates for Central Committee. You accidentally omitted District 1 where Jack Remington and myself are candidates. District 1 is where Mike and Mary Osborn live. She is a candidate who is “endorsed”.