INDIO —Waymond Fermon, a political novice, announced in January he would vigorously challenge Michael H. Wilson for his seat on the Indio City Council. But he waited until the last possible minute to file his nomination papers.
While Wilson, Troy Strange and Oscar F. Ortiz all qualified as candidates at 5 p.m. Friday, Fermon’s last-minute move left City Clerk Sabdi Sanchez scrambling to verify the signatures on his Nomination form. At 11:13 p.m. Friday, Sanchez notified Uken Report that Fermon has qualified as an official candidate.
Wilson, Elaine Holmes, Troy Strange and Oscar Ortiz all filed an Oath of Fair Campaign Practices. Fermon has not. Whether it’s an oversight or intention and a predictor of what’s to come wasn’t immediately clear.
Holmes is unopposed in her re-election bid.
The state Legislature adopted the Code of Fair Campaign Practices more than 20 years ago as part of its Elections Code. The purpose in creating the Code of Fair Campaign Practices is to give voters guidelines to determine fair play, honesty and decency to encourage qualified candidates to discuss issues instead of untruths or distortions.
You may read the entire pledge here.
Wilson, who has served on the Indio City Council since 1995, is currently serving a one-year rotation as mayor. Fermon is challenging him in District 2.
The total population of District 2 is 16,196. Some 36 percent of the residents in the district earn between $75,000 and $200,000. Twenty percent earn less than $25,000, 22 percent earn between $25,000 and $50,000 and 21 percent earn between $50,000 and $75,000.
When it comes to education, 55 percent have a high school diploma, 11 percent have a bachelor’s degree and 4 percent have a graduate degree.
The November City Council election will mark the first time Indio residents have elected City Council representatives in districts. Indio, like Cathedral City, was forced into dividing the city into districts or face cost-prohibitive litigation. The current District Map was approved on a 4-1 vote with Lupe Ramos Watson dissenting.
Fermon is said to be prepared to begin actively campaigning next week.