BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A well-known conservative radio personality who was on the airwaves for many years in Kern County has passed away. inga Barks was 53-years-old. 23ABC's Kylie Walker spoke with two of her former colleagues who described her as a supportive friend and influential voice within the community.
While it is unclear how she passed away, they say it was unexpected. But the memories with her and the stories she shared will live on forever.
It's been a sad few days for Blake Taylor who started working with Inga Barks in 2002 at Kern Radiowwhere she was a radio host at the station
"One of the most naturally talented broadcasters I've ever met in my life hands down, male, female," said Taylor. "You lose someone that influential, that important, you know t breaks you up. It breaks you up inside."
Inga's producer at the time Corey Castallo also weighed in on the passing of his good friend who he spoke to just last week.
"Inga passing on Election Day is like Dale Earnhardt passing away turn four Daytona."
Castallo said while Barks had countless opportunities to go national she chose to stay locally as Kern County was her home.
"She was very well connected nationally with talk radio hosts like Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Fox News Radio, at the time White House Press Secretary Tony Snow and so that opened the doors for us to take the show on the road quite a bit."
And her co-workers said she was an intellectual, politically-savvy powerhouse.
"Somebody who just lived breathed devoured the local political scene specifically in the state of California and very few were able to break it down like she did," said Castallo.
"I mean you don't go from Bakersfield to fill in for nationally syndicated shows in Manhattan," added Taylor.
Taylor said she stood out in a male-dominated industry of conservative radio.
"She was one of the few females that stood out and was really outspoken and elegant and got the job done," continued Taylor. "She was probably the one person local show wise that was able to beat Rush Limbaugh in the ratings head to head in the ratings and that's not something that's easy to do."
Castallo said he found out that she started writing a book about a year ago about these experiences.
"It's unfortunate that people will never be able to see that book because there were a lot of great stories I was able to witness."
When Castallo was asked if he thinks this book ever has a chance of being released to the public, he said that he hopes so and maybe one day her son will be able to find it and finish it off.