INDIO — Mayor Michael H. Wilson confirmed tonight, Dec. 6, that he will seek an official recount of the votes cast in the Nov. 6 California General Election for Indio City Council.
Wilson told Uken Report in a written statement that he would seek a recount even as approximately 1,000 vote-by-mail and 10,000 Provisional ballots were still being processed and results pending certification.
At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, Wilson’s Democratic opponent, Waymond Fermon, had 1,792 votes, according to the Riverside County Registrar of Voters. Wilson had 1,636.
Wilson who has served Indio for more than two decades has never been one to roll over. He fights for that in which he believes and isn’t afraid to speak his mind. This is one of those times.
“Our campaign from the start of this election season, as well as in our past campaigns, made the decision that we would always take the high road, stand by our convictions, treat people as we would want to be treated, and stand by our high ethical and moral standards,” Wilson said. “Unfortunately, my opponent and his campaign has at every turn taken the opposite approach in this campaign.”
As with every campaign, Wilson said his team had opposition research on his opponent that would have quite possibly changed many opinions among those supporting Fermon.
Wilson did not say what opposition research he has.
“Yet,” Wilson continued, “we chose to stay with our moral and ethical standards and only promote the accomplishments of our 21 years in office, the many positives of Indio, our leadership, and why we were the better and most experienced candidate to continue on the City Council.”
Unfortunately, Wilson said, his opponent’s campaign took the low road.
“We have been under heavy attack and fire,” Wilson said.
His opponents have used digital media riddled with made-up stories and constant attacks using false social media accounts to troll him — and used digital applications, including Twitter, Facebook, and Nextdoor, to attack him and his family, Wilson said.
“All of this digital platform use and campaigning has never been accounted for financially … in any of my opponent’s formal Campaign Financial reporting documents. This shows a large soft money operation in use in this campaign that has gone completely undisclosed and unreported. This is of grave concern and shows the depths of an all-out agenda to win at all costs.”
Wilson continued, “These revelations became even more concerning the last week of the election campaign with reports of my opponent’s campaign going door-to-door asking for absentee ballots from voters, including advertising for people’s ballots on their social media platforms.”
For the past month, while waiting for ballots to be counted, he and his team have heard from their supporters and voters about this “ballot harvesting” effort by his our opponent’s campaign that was underway. They had the feeling it was “wrong, unethical, and that they wanted our campaign to investigate it in every way we could.”
“Many of my supporters and voters have felt that this election was manipulated and taken from us,” Wilson said. “It is because of these continued calls for us to investigate and to get to the bottom of it that we have decided to ask for a formal recount so that we may have access to — and can look into these concerns. Every resident’s vote should be counted and every resident who voted should have the comfort that this election was conducted in the highest standards and that there was no questionable manipulation to change an outcome.”
Wilson is responsible for paying for the recount. The cost is not yet available.