Ventura County Sheriff

The Context

The Ventura County Sheriff’s race is perhaps the most hotly contested race this year. A lot has happened since Bill Ayub assumed the role of sheriff, including the rise of social justice causes and an effort to address systemic racism, equitability in a county that has had a considerable amount of resistance to both efforts; and, of course, the pandemic. Ayub was most notable for having spoken out against the enforcement of masks in the earliest days of the pandemic, stating that his sheriffs did not have the resources to police public health ordinances in the general public.

Both candidates are Republicans philosophically, though one – in my view – is far more to the right than the other. Of particular note is that the Ventura County Republican Central Committee (the VCGOP) is so divided on this issue, they were unable to take a position of endorsement for either candidate – the votes were that equally split.

Further to the point of this race: the Ventura County Deputy Sheriff’s Association has taken out a separate Political Action Committee with the expressed purpose of electing Jim Fryhoff. In a radio interview in April, Fryhoff stated that one of his campaign promises was to create a separate, taxpayer funded position for the union president for the sheriff’s department. This would make it so the union president does not have to work 40 hours at the union and 20 hours as a deputy to retain health and retirement benefits at the county. This position, again, would be funded by taxpayers.

They have spent over $75,000 separate from Fryhoff’s campaign.

Spending/Funding Breakdown

Ayub’s 2022 Spending/Funding:

$74K spent

$146K remaining cash on hand

Gave his own campaign $20K loan

Fryhoff’s 2022 Spending:

$72K spent

$9K outstanding campaign debts

Gave his own campaign loans in the amounts of $7000 and $50

Jim Fryhoff’s Notable Donations

Again, this is not an exhaustive list, but rather the donations that stuck out the most to me. I again will add here with transparency that I do not support Fryhoff, his affiliation with MAGA Trump supporter and campaigner Rob McCoy, from Godspeak Church and the City of Thousand Oaks was just about enough for me.

Another item of note: Ace Diagnostics gave Fryhoff a campaign contribution in the amount of $150 and then asked for a refund.

  • A lot of individual contributions from real estate agents, real estate brokers, church employees
  • Scott Grabendike – Pastor at Venture Missionary Church
  • Greg Kimura – Priest
  • Rob McCoy – Pastor at Godspeak Church and former Trump campaigner
  • Peace Officers Research Association of California
  • Iceoplex Ice Arena
  • Iheartcannabis
  • LUINA AFL-CIO
  • Southwest Regional Carpenters Council
  • Luxury Loos LLC (A company that provides VIP luxury restrooms)
  • Creative Balloons by Cathy
  • The security guard for Players Casino
  • Several executives from Dignity Health
  • Paul Anka (the celebrity)

Bill Ayub’s Notable Donations

Most noticeable to me in Bill Ayub’s donations are the number of local small business owners that have contributed to his campaign. Further, he has a significant amount of bipartisan support from local elected officials and political party insiders.

  • Linda Parks for Supervisor
  • MV Tactical and Firearms Training
  • Leo and Melinda Bunnin of Bunnin Chevrolet
  • Sun Air Jets
  • Kathy Long – retired county supervisor
  • Steve Thomas from Steve Thomas BMW
  • Gold Coast Air Conditioning
  • California Real Estate PAC
  • Mark Lisagor – Trustee of the Ventura County Board of Education
  • Several individuals from both Ventura and neighboring county sheriffs departments
  • David Frost – Ventura Battalion Chief