Bill Campbell opponent Donald Ritze drawing media attention

Donald Ritze

Donald Ritze, the contractor who is taking on Orange County Supervisor in the Third District, is profiled in an L.A. Times article in today’s paper. I previously wrote about Ritze on May 13, in a post entitled “Time to dump Bill Campbell?

Here are a few excerpts from the L.A. Times article:

Ritze wants to oust Supervisor Bill Campbell in Tuesday’s primary for what he sees as Campbell’s poor record — including twice endorsing the now-indicted former Sheriff Michael S. Carona, brokering the agreement among supervisors that allowed troubled county Treasurer Chriss Street to retain his investment powers and voting to move forward with plans to finance a jail expansion in the district.

“Is this any way for a supervisor that is over the 3rd District to act?” Ritze asked. “He doesn’t have the best interests of the 3rd District right now.”

Ritze was born in Missouri but moved to Orange County as a boy. He is a construction contractor and contract pilot, has coached youth and high school baseball, and recently started an avocado orchard of more than 200 trees with his wife, Sandra, on his property near Silverado Canyon.

He decided to run for office after growing increasingly dismayed over the news headlines in Orange County in recent years, as the sheriff was indicted, financial problems with public pensions and retiree medical costs mounted, and the county treasurer stumbled into a thicket of private and public legal troubles. To Ritze, the problems were evidence of a lack of tough management at the top.

In examining Campbell’s record, Ritze began to question decisions: Campbell’s vote to give public park land to the Irvine Co. and Campbell’s support to fund the expansion of James A. Musick Jail in Irvine by accepting state prisoners into Theo Lacy Jail in Orange, both of which are in the district.

“Why is the 3rd District taking all this liability on prisoners and why is Bill Campbell allowing it?” he asks.

He has been doing what he can with the resources available. He put up a website,, and put out about 100 lawn signs, although he has found they tend to disappear. Campaign mail was too expensive, so he has been putting in personal appearances, including entering the chili cook-off Sunday at the Tustin Street Fair, where he will also hand out Ritz crackers — despite the “e” at the end of his name, it rhymes with the brand of popular snacks.

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