Updated: Ramirez's seat to be filled by governor's appointment

·2 min read

This story has been updated to show the process for recommending potential successors to Supervisor Carmen Ramirez.

The county Board of Supervisors seat that Carmen Ramirez held before her sudden death last week will be filled by an appointee of Gov. Gavin Newsom until the rest of her term expires in January 2025, officials said.

Registrar of Voters Mark Lunn said that is the only recourse under state law. Voters won't be able to vote on their choice for the Oxnard-based District 5 seat until the general election in November 2024, Lunn said.

More: 'A much stronger moral compass:' County Supervisor Carmen Ramirez struck by truck, killed

Although Ventura County voters will be casting ballots in a general election on Nov. 8, Ramirez's seat was not up for election. The spot cannot be added with the contest only 84 days away, less than the minimum of 88 days, Lunn said.

The date is also too close to meet deadlines for printing and mailing of ballots and the required candidate filing period, Lunn said.

Nor is there any provision in state law for holding a special election even though the supervisor died with more than two years left in her term, he said.

Carmen Ramirez
Carmen Ramirez

Ramirez, 73, died Friday night after being struck by a pickup truck in downtown Oxnard while she was walking in a crosswalk. She was less than halfway through her first term representing the Oxnard-based district, which includes Oxnard, Port Hueneme, CSU Channel Islands, Naval Base Ventura County and unincorporated beach communities.

The power to make the appointment lies with the governor. But the Board of Supervisors may make a recommendation, Chairman Matt LaVere said. LaVere was the panel's vice chair prior to Ramirez's death.

More: The inspired life of Ventura County Supervisor Carmen Ramirez

The appointment process for vacancies on boards of supervisors follows the same process as other gubernatorial appointments, said Danella Debel, a spokeswoman in the governor's office.

Debel said interested parties are encouraged to complete an application form found online at gov.ca.gov/appointments. Individuals wishing to recommend an individual may email Appointments.Office@GOV.CA.GOV and encourage their chosen candidates to complete the application form.

Governor's staff assigned to an appointments unit will review the applications, interview top candidates and make recommendations to the governor, Debel said.

Newsom may interview candidates and then proceed to make an appointment, Debel said.

There is no deadline for filling the seat, Debel said.

Oxnard Mayor John Zaragoza said he believed it would be ideal to have another Latina in the post.

Ramirez was the first Latina elected to the board and the first to be voted chairperson by her colleagues.

Kathleen Wilson covers the Ventura County government, including the county health system, politics and social services. Reach her at kathleen.wilson@vcstar.com or 805-437-0271.

This article originally appeared on Ventura County Star: Carmen Ramirez's seat to be filled by governor's appointment