Armando Ramirez was sworn in on January 8, 2013, as the Clerk of the Circuit Court for the Ninth Judicial Circuit of Osceola County. He became the first Hispanic-American Clerk of the Circuit Court in the entire state of Florida. In the approximately 130 years of existence of the courts of Osceola County, the courts never had a Hispanic clerk or, even a candidate, brave enough to challenge its political system.
Ramirez became the first challenger and defeated the incumbent in the primaries and prevailed during the general elections against the candidate of the GOP - the powerful political machine in Osceola County - on November 6, 2012. Once sworn in, he began supervising approximately 200employees in the many-faceted functions of the Clerk’s Office.
Born, raised in Barrio Buen Consejo, and educated in the public schools of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, Ramirez always demonstrated traits of altruistic service towards his community -- from the days in elementary school when he organized an effort to feed less fortunate classmates -- to his service in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, and his career as a police officer in New York City, to mention just a few.
Ramirez retired after serving 30 years as a New York police officer. He participated in numerous rackets and fraud investigations while working as a rackets investigator in the District Attorney’s Office in Kings County, Brooklyn,
New York. During his long career as a law enforcement officer in New York City, Ramirez served in criminal investigations with the District Attorney's Office and worked in the following bureaus: homicide, narcotics (covert operations), major cases, organized crimes, political corruption, economic crimes and sex crimes. He also served, occasionally, in extremely difficult criminal probes - while targeting unscrupulous landlords and insurers engaged in corrupt criminal activities - such as arson and fraud. Ramirez, posing as a "torch man" for hire to burn down buildings, was instrumental in exposing these criminals to be held accountable.
Upon retirement, Ramirez moved with his wife and children to Kissimmee, in Osceola County, and became involved with various organizations and grassroots community groups. In the mid-1990s, he became part of a core of dedicated individuals spearheading the campaign to elect the late Roberto Guevara to the Osceola County Commission. To the chagrin of his opponents and detractors, Guevara won his election and was the first Hispanic - Puerto Rican - to be elected as a county commissioner in Osceola County under the new (and subsequently short-lived, 1992-1996) voter-approved member district system.
Beginning in 1996, Ramirez and a small group of community activists decided to bring back the single-member districts election process -- a struggle for social justice that lasted ten long years, and involved legal battles -- including a federal lawsuit pursuant to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Section 2 and 5, to bring back the single-member districts election concept. Ironically, the same day, Roberto Guevara was victorious as the first Hispanic county commissioner a decade earlier. On November 1996, Ramirez’s efforts prevailed when the U.S. District Court decided in favor of the single-member districts. The victory came on December 8, 2006, when federal judge Gregory A. Presnell ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, a decision that would essentially dismantle the egregious at-large election system which voters had put back in place about a decade earlier.
Ramirez and his associates in this noble cause, argued - and the federal court agreed - that the at-large election system (in which commission candidates ran countywide) discriminated against those with fewer economic resources being forced to campaign county-wide. Particularly, it was an insurmountable task for candidates lacking sufficient money and less human resources to cover the vast geographical area of Osceola County.
The at-large election method for county commissioners was replaced by the more democratic and fairer single-member district election process pursuant to the federal court order. Copies of the Complaint, Court’s Opinion and Court Order can be access through the links below:
With the federal court order in hand, Ramirez, two years later, persuaded the Osceola County School Board to conduct a referendum asking voters whether they wanted to adopt the single-member district election concept (like Osceola County) when choosing board members.
On January 29, 2008, during the presidential primaries, county voters overwhelmingly approved (with 61 percent of the vote) the single-member district election method for School Board members, replacing the egregious at-large election system.
Throughout his life, Ramirez has seen the world as a war between the forces of good and the forces of evil -- especially hating the corruption he has seen among government public officials during his long tenure of public service – especially as a police officer in New York City. Ramirez’s philosophy reveals his strong conviction of “We are not just fighting human beings, but battling the wicked spiritual forces, the rulers and authorities of this dark world and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” (Suggestion, please read Ephesians 6:12-20 in its entirety.)
Ramirez is very adamant when it comes to the constitutional rights of individuals, particularly the Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights: “The right of the people to be secured in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures [seizing your home through an illegal foreclosure eviction], shall not be violated, and no warrants [such as Warrant of Eviction or Writ of Possession] shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched,and the persons or things to be seized [such as your house or home]”. Read the Bill of Rights Amendment XIV: “...nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property [house, or dwelling unit]without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
For further information, read the Forensic Report commissioned by Armando Ramirez, as Custodian and Keeper of Land and Court Records in Osceola County, State of Florida, by visiting http://www.osceolaclerk.com/Home/Content/forensic-examination-real-property-osceola-county.
“... Let justice flow like a stream, and righteousness like a river that never goes dry."