The City of Oxnard Special Election for District 2 is less than a month away. It will be held on November 2, and all mail-in ballots have been sent out.
The Councilmember candidates include Tai Hartley, Eduardo Huerta, and Gabriel Teran who currently has the Councilmember seat after being appointed earlier this year.
Teran took over for Carmen Ramirez who was a member for 12 years but then joined the Ventura County Board of Supervisors November of last year after being elected.
The Councilmember was appointed on a unanimous vote and is now running for the position for the first time.
“It’s been a great honor to be able to serve on the city council,” Teran said to VIDA Newspaper. “In that time, I knew that this was not an election, this was an appointment. I didn’t take that for granted.”
Teran has worked as a Parks and Recreation Commissioner, a Neighborhood Council Chair, Inter Neighborhood Council Organization Vice Chair, and as a health educator before joining the city council.
“I understand the functioning of the city and the neighborhoods. I’ve been in liaison between the community and the city, and a number of different initiatives they’ve worked on. The city council just felt like a perfect fit,” Teran said.
Teran says that if he didn’t get appointed, he would have still run for Councilmember.
“What folks could look forward to moving on is continued oversight and work towards restoring our city services that were reduced. Also, additional work with youth,” Teran said.
Teran plans to look at additional investment in programming and more opportunities for the Oxnard youth as well as more equity for services throughout the city.
Hartley, Chair of the Riverpark Neighborhood Council, has been a resident of Oxnard since 1985 and wants to bring more transparency, accountability, and wants to exercise responsible spending.
“I’ve lived in a lot of underappreciated neighborhoods throughout the city my entire life, and it’s only recently that I came into [Riverpark] and became more aware of how our taxes have been managed,” Hartley said. “We all have different issues. Here, the crime is different versus some areas of south Oxnard.”
Hartley says that she is aware of the issues surrounding Oxnard and would like to be more involved. One of the things she wants to focus on is tax management throughout the area, if elected.
Hartley previously ran for the Special Election in 2018 but was overcoming breast cancer at the time and decided that she was not ready mentally to continue with the election.
“It did not occur to me at the time that I should have taken more time to rest. Not just body but mind as well,” Hartley said to VIDA Newspaper. “Even though I did no campaigning whatsoever, I still got a high amount of votes.”
Huerta, also a lifetime resident of Oxnard, is a political activist and has worked as a consultant for different campaigns.
“There’s a lot of good opportunity for downtown Oxnard, especially because the city has grown,” Huerta said to VIDA Newspaper. “[Small businesses] need support and that’s what I’m trying to reach out for. People that lost their jobs and created a new business. All the new entrepreneurs, that’s my target.”
Huerta says he plans to bring better opportunities and help strengthen the city’s economy if elected.
Any registered voters in District 2 who have not received a mail-in ballot can request for one to be mailed to them before October 26 by the county elections divisions office.
Drop-off boxes are available for residents who will not be mailing in their ballots at 251 S. A St. in Oxnard, 800 S. Victoria Ave. in Ventura, and 691 Town Center Drive in Oxnard.
Votes can also be casted in-person on November 2 at Rio Del Mar School, 31050 Thames River Drive, Serra Linda School, 2201 Jasmine St., Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer, 721 Doris Ave., and St. John’s Lutheran Church, 1500 N. C St.
The deadline to mail in a registration form or to register online is October 18. Residents can also register in person on November 2 at any of the four polling sites and vote that same day.