What’s with South Orange College District Trustee appointment?

I have to say I am more than a little puzzled by the action last night of the Board of Trustees of the South Orange County Community College District, lead by Nancy Padberg of San Clemente, in rushing to fill the vacancy created on their Board by the recent death of Republican leader Tom Fuentes, whose term was set to expire and is up for election in just four months.  The Board filled the position with a candidate who has served on the faculty, by a vote of 5-1.  Yet it was clear that Tom’s wife, Jolene Fuentes, a well-known community activist who is eminently qualified for the position, is set to run for the seat in the November election, and will undoubtedly have the backing of the Orange County Republican Party and just about every conservative political organization in the county rallying behind her for this bedrock conservative seat.  Why the rush to appoint someone else for just a couple of meetings?  The appearance is very strong that Padberg and the Trustee majority don’t want another serious Republican on the Board to replace Tom Fuentes.  That issue will now be resolved in November and I am betting on Jolene.

Update:  Frank Mickadeit of the Orange County Register reports a lot of the details on this matter here: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/fuentes-360712-board-wright.html

Nancy Padberg, courtesy SOCCCD.