For decades, the “vote out every incumbent” effort rears its often misguided head, when select voters get tired of hearing and seeing the same ol’, same ol’, but fail to understand the value of elected officials having institutional knowledge of issues, stakeholders and processes. At the same time, however, new faces mean new ideas, and new leaders often bring life and energy to office that longtime incumbents tend to lack. In Ventura County, election season is bound to be rather interesting this year, with at least nine incumbents in six cities opting not to run for re-election while over three dozen locals, some of whom are running for office for a first time, are entering city races. We can’t help but wonder what we might miss as so many incumbents step aside for newcomers to take over.
In this day and age, if you want to run for office, it seems like you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. With the extreme volatility and polarity in the presidential election, our hats are off to those willing to jump in the mix to try and effect change. On the other hand, we understand why longtime incumbents are bowing out, given the conditions of always being under public scrutiny while, at the same time, being underappreciated for the sacrifice of being a public servant. One-term Oxnard City Councilwoman Dorina Padilla, who was elected at age 24, opting to pursue her education in the next year rather than another term, demonstrates that there is hope for young people who want to get into politics. Her hard work during election season paid off despite not having a familiar name. Surely, she has realized firsthand just how hard it is to switch the gears of government bureaucracy, especially in the county’s largest city that has, for too long, been plagued with problems including disgruntled employees and residents alike.
This week wraps the filing deadline for city council and mayor elections in the county, as we report who is in and who is out in this edition’s news section. We are pleased to see some younger citizens entering these local races, as their voices and concerns are often brushed off by older generations in office who do not have the same set of struggles. We hope to see a good cross section of our community elected in November, who better represent all of Ventura County.