Kotze-Ramos brings grit into crowded Assembly race

DOWNEY - Patricia Kotze-Ramos doesn't sound like your typical politician - and that just might be the way she wants it."Anyone who knows me personally and professionally knows that I don't just say things, I do them," said Kotze-Ramos with a grin. "I don't need to do this, but I want to do this. I wouldn't make the promise if I wasn't going to keep it." Co-founder and president of Diversified Risk Management, Inc., Kotze-Ramos has worked in the internal investigation industry for nearly 30 years managing thousands of workplace probes into crimes against both large and small companies alike. From security consulting and fraud investigations to background screenings and covert surveillance, Kotze-Ramos' Downey-based firm has mastered private investigations, but will now take on a new, uncharted role: campaign headquarters. Hoping voters in the 58th Assembly District will embrace her platform, Kotze-Ramos, the lone Republican vying for the newly-created seat, is ramping up her efforts to raise money and garner support as a new poll indicates she's running a tight race with frontrunner Downey Councilman Luis Marquez. "It's a big decision. I had to give it a lot of thought," said Kotze-Ramos who was recruited to run for the office when no other Republicans stepped up. "But again, I'm not going to do something unless I give it 100 percent." Despite the fact the 58th Assembly District is heavily Democratic, Kotze-Ramos, a resident of Downey, believes voters will ultimately look beyond party affiliation and choose someone that will listen and act in the people's best interests. "We need to focus on things I feel we haven't been - jobs, education, and safety," said Kotze-Ramos who criticized those she deems as career politicians. "A lot of politicians, career politicians, have never had a job. They actually haven't worked in a career. I know some of them pretty well. They've gone to Sacramento and haven't kept their promises." In addition to job growth, Kotze-Ramos is advocating assistance for small businesses through tax reforms, the elimination of wasteful government spending and nutrition programs for kids aimed at targeting childhood obesity. The married mother of two daughters, Kotze-Ramos has long been an active community leader and volunteer serving as a regional director for Soroptimist International, chair of the Downey Public Works Committee, board member of the Californian's Dedicated to Education Foundation, and president-elect of the Downey Chamber of Commerce. Prior to announcing her candidacy in 58th Assembly District, Kotze-Ramos was thought to be a serious contender for the Downey City Council this year, but she now says the timing just didn't work in her favor. "I live in District 3, but Roger [Brossmer] is planning to run again, which pushes my time limit," she said. "The other option is District 5, Luis Marquez, but the fifth is probably going to have some players and I wouldn't want to challenge them. I love the city, but it doesn't seem like my time here." Kotze-Ramos is nonetheless hopeful that she'll be able to still represent the community at the state level. Several influential civic and political leaders have endorsed Kotze-Ramos including Reps. Ed Royce of Fullerton and Howard "Buck" McKeon of Santa Clarita, Downey Councilman Mario Guerra, Cerritos College Board President Bob Arthur, former Cerritos Councilwoman Grace Hu, former Bellflower Unified School Board Member Rick Royse, Whittier Planning Commissioner Harry Stone, and Jan Scott, president of the Downey Chamber of Commerce. On March 7, Probolsky Research conducted a telephone survey of more than 300 likely June primary voters in the 58th Assembly District. According to the polling if the election were held this month, Luis Marquez captures a majority (19.4%) of voters followed closely by Kotze-Ramos with 17.2% of the vote and former assemblyman Tom Calderon of Montebello who garners 13.3%. "Given her name I.D., those are really good results," said Matt Kauble, campaign manager for Kotze-Ramos' campaign. In any case, Kotze-Ramos hopes to rally support and encourage local residents to participate in her campaign. "We want to let everyone know and get more people to vote," she said. Regarding fundraising, the Kotze-Ramos campaign acknowledged that they started late and have not raised much, but Kauble maintained they will seek support from local and regional donors including family, friends and business owners. Kotze-Ramos is confident the campaign will be competitive during June's primary and remains hopeful that local residents will back her platform. "I will keep my promises within the best of my ability. We can't do it all, but the right person can make a difference," she said. "I will be someone people see in their district. I want to listen to what the people have to say."

********** Published: March 29, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 50