Jermaine Wright Running Against Old Guard

Jermaine Wright said that as a candidate for First District supervisor, he represents the true antithesis to the entrenched political establishment that has held the county and the High Desert in its grip for too long.
The proof of that, Wright pointed out, is that he is the lone candidate in the field of 8 running for supervisor who tossed his hat in the ring before incumbent supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt withdrew from the race to run for Congress upon Representative Jerry Lewis’ retirement announcement in January.
“We need a change,” Wright said. “I’m tired of the corruption. I’m tired of people not caring about the community and just trying to prop themselves up. Politicians should serve the people. We have not been getting the service we deserve. I am not tied to any of the past problems the county has had. Five of my seven opponents are tied to, worked for, or are friends with or have taken money from the corruption of the past. As supervisors we had Bill Postmus and then Brad. Bob Smith worked for both Bill Postmus and Brad. Michael Orme worked for both. Russ Blewett was Brad’s mentor. He says he worked for Proposition 13 more than 30 years ago but now he doesn’t show up at the Hesperia City Council meetings when he knows they are going to be voting on increasing taxes. Bret Henry is a county employee union president who says he is going to fight to make things better for his one special interest group. Everyone thought I would jump out when they jumped in but I’m still going to fight for what I believe in.”
Wright has been a member of the Adelanto School District Board of Trustees for a little over a year. As such, he is an established politician, but insists he is not an establishment politician. “When I ran I said I will serve as a politician for eight years, two terms, and that’s it, school board or supervisor or whatever. I believe we need term limits because politicians need to be changed like babies’ diapers and for the same reason. I will push for term limits to stop people from turning this into a career and being beholden to one group that is taking care of them.”
And if a ballot measure to reduce county supervisors to part time status succeeds, Wright said, that is fine with him. “Whether the voters say part time, full time, or three-quarter time, I’ll be somebody out there fighting for them as their true voice,” he said.
In sizing up what he considered to be the major issues facing the First District, Wright said “We have so many people unemployed because we are not receiving the services or the infrastructure we were promised. The First District at 15,000 square miles has all this undeveloped land, yet we have the least amount of representation. They gave us another supervisor in the area, with the Third District extended into Barstow, but that is absolutely no help for the people here in the Victor Valley. There is no effort to bring jobs in and move people forward in this area. They say they want to move business in but they forget about businesses that are already here. Nothing is being done for them. We have not backfilled over 200 positions in law enforcement, which makes this area very unsafe.”
Additionally, Wright said, “Hesperia has not gotten the return on property tax revenue it deserves for over twenty years. The entire district has been underserved and underrepresented for years.”
His solution, Wright said, would consist of “First, going in to try to streamline things. A lot of county departments are overstaffed. The money can be pulled out of those departments and put where it needs to be. I would improve things by backfilling departments that need the money instead of overfunding departments that don’t need it.”
The county is on the ropes, Wright said, because “There is no real management skill and no financial plan.”
Looking beyond the narrow needs of the First District to the major problem plaguing the entire county, Wright said, “I think the biggest issue is to end the corruption that has been going on. The board needs to have finance reform as well as setting term limits to make sure this does not become a career for anyone. These elected politicians are going to draw pensions. That is why they are in office, to get money, to make sure the government takes care of them for the rest of their lives. We need to end that.”
Wright said he is best suited of all of the candidates to serve as supervisor because “I’m a small businessman and I will bring the business mentality of how to run a business to the county. I am running this campaign 100 percent on my own money. I will be beholden to the people who vote and not the unions or the self-serving entities trying to take over the board of supervisors. I’m not about getting my name in the papers. I will work by showing up to get a job done for the people of this county. I will not rely on my staff to answer the phone. I will speak to the public I serve. I will never consider myself too busy to answer the phone and get my constituents what they need.”
Wright, 36, was born and raised in Monrovia, graduating from Monrovia High School. He attended Liberty University and Baker College. He owns and operates his own business, a transportation company. He is married with four children.

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