Armendarez Installed As First District County Supervisor Four Days Early

Less than two months after his victory over Luis Cetina, was sworn in as Second District Supervisor by San Bernardino County District Attorney Jason Anderson yesterday, December 29.
The 46-year-old Armendarez was surrounded by family members, political associates and supporters and longtime friends during the oath-taking ceremony, by which he replaced former Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford, four days in advance of his assuming the Second District seat on the Board of Supervisors at noon on Monday, January 2, 2023.
“The platform I ran on to help those of you who can’t help yourself, help those of you who are struggling to have a fair wage, to have mental health, these are promises that I have not forgotten. These are things that I plan on moving forward with, with dedication and passion,” Armendarez said shortly after being administered the oath. Included as part of the installation was a blessing by Armendarez’s pastor, the Reverend Dan Carrol of Fontana’s Water of Life Community Church. Congresswoman Norma Torres and blessed by Pastor, where Armendarez worships.
“I thank God for giving me the strength, endurance, passion, and desire to move forward and serve my public and for allowing me to be a public servant,” Armendarez said.
Supervisor Armendarez’s sons Christian, 13, and Nicholas, 6, assisted in their father’s ascension to County office by summoning the Sheriff’s Honor Guard to present The Colors and leading the Pledge of Allegiance.
“To all of the residents, I want you to know that my accountability, my transparency, and my accessibility were not just words I used on the campaign trail. They are words that I fundamentally believe,” Armendarez said.
Board members said they are eager to begin serving with Armendarez.
“I am looking forward to serving alongside Jesse Armendarez,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman, who presided over the oath of office ceremony. “He will bring a fresh perspective to the board of supervisors and a strong work ethic to the Second District. Jesse has demonstrated strong leadership in service to residents and I am confident that his experience, skills, and background will make the county even stronger.”
“I want to congratulate Jesse and welcome him to the Board of Supervisors,” said Board of Supervisors Vice Chairwoman Dawn Rowe. “I’m confident his background as a local leader will enable him to jump right in and help tackle the many challenges we have ahead. I look forward to working with him to represent our San Bernardino County residents and businesses.”
“Since he first announced, I’ve known that Jesse will be an outstanding Second District supervisor,” said Col. Paul Cook (Retired), First District supervisor. “I congratulate him on his swearing-in and look forward to working with him to accomplish great things for the residents of our county.”
“I want to congratulate Jesse Armendarez and wish him the best as he begins his new journey as San Bernardino County’s Second District Supervisor,” said Fifth District Supervisor Joe Baca, Jr., who provided the ceremony’s invocation. “I look forward to working collaboratively and effectively with him as we put the concerns of our county residents first. Supervisor Armendarez will bring in business experience that will help make our county prosper.”
“I look forward to serving with my colleagues,” Armendarez said. “I think we can do amazing things here. You are going to find that I am a person who will work with you in every way I can to ensure we represent this county in the best way possible.”
Supervisor Jesse Armendarez officially assumes the office on the board of supervisors at noon on January 2, 2023.
Born and raised in San Bernardino County, Armendarez was a member of the first graduating class at A.B. Miller High School in Fontana. At 16, he had a part-time job pressure washing trucks for a local logistics company.
After graduating from A.B. Miller, he started his own small business. He became a successful real estate broker. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Inland Valley Association of Realtors, of which he was a past president.
After starting his family with his wife Delene, Armendarez decided to become more involved in the community. He served on the Board of Directors for the Fontana Rotary and Fontana Exchange Clubs. He served as a director of the Chaffey College Foundation, helping to raise money so disadvantaged youth could afford to earn their degree. The Jesse and Delene Armendarez Endowment at Chaffey College is fully funded and has helped local students attend college. He is also a member of the Fontana Chamber of Commerce.
He cultivated his political ambition by showing a willingness to contribute money in substantial amounts to local politicians, including Fontana Mayor Acquanetta Warren. In return for his generosity, Warren rewarded him with an appointment to the Fontana Planning Commission.
In 2014 Armendarez’s ambition was matched with Warren’s desire to further her already extensive political reach and solidify her hold on the Fontana community. In particular, Warren at that time was intent on dislodging one of her political rivals, Shannon O’Brien from the Fontana Unified School District Board of Trustees. The mayor supported Armendarez in a run for the school board. With Warren’s guidance and support and Armendarez’s willingness to utilize his own personal wealth to fuel his campaign, he prevailed.
Two years later, in 2016, Warren was again determined to prevent her two rivals on the city council, Councilman Jesse Sandoval and Councilwoman Lydia Salazar-Wibert, from establishing an effective bulwark against her domination of the council. This created another opportunity for Armendarez to advance. Again with Warren’s guidance and the application his own money, Armendarez propelled himself further up the political ladder by defeating Salazar-Wibert in that year’s city council election. For the next four years, Armendarez was a solid member of the ruling coalition on the Fontana City Council Warren controlled.
In 2020, Armendarez reached for the brass ring when he ran for Fifth District Supervisor, but it eluded his grasp. He finished in second place in the March 2020 primary, qualifying for the run-off against then-Rialto City Councilman Joe Baca Jr in the November election. Thus, Armendarez was not able to run for reelection to the Fontana City Council in November 2020, as he was engaged in a political slugfest with Baca. Ultimately, Baca, a Democrat, prevailed in that contest, as Democrats outnumber Republicans nearly 5-to-2 in the Fifth Supervisorial District, which at that time stretched from mid-San Bernardino in the east through all of Muscoy, all of Colton, all of Bloomingon, all of Rialto and more than a third of Fontana in the west.
In 2021, the county’s electoral map was redrawn in correspondence to the 2020 Census, and all of Fontana, including Armendarez’s neighborhood, was placed into the Second Supervisorial District. This gave Armendarez a rare opportunity to run for the board of supervisors twice in two years. He did so, placing second among five candidates in the June primary and then engaging in a hard-fought campaign against Luis Cetina in the fall campaign. Though Cetina had bettered Armendarez by roughly three percentage points in June, Armendarez outhustled and outlasted him in November, prevailing with 48,025 votes or 53.63 percent to Cetina’s 41,516 or 46.37 percent.

Leave a Reply