INDIO — A mere three votes separate incumbent Mayor Michael H. Wilson and his formidable challenger, Waymond Fermon, in the race for the seat in the newly drawn District 2.
As of 7:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, two days after the California General Election, Wilson has 50.10 percent of the vote, or 723 votes; Fermon has garnered 49.90 percent, or 720 votes, according to unofficial vote tallies from the Riverside County Registrar of Voters.
Each candidate is counting on the ballots that have yet to be counted to push him clearly over the top.
Fermon announced his candidacy on Jan. 2 and has been meeting with clubs and in private homes throughout the year. In recent weeks, he and his family relied on good, old-fashioned shoe leather as they knocked on doors to spread his message.
“You didn’t think our campaign would end without an element of drama did you? We’ve been running hard since Jan. 2nd and we won’t stop now,” Fermon said in a statement through his campaign spokesman Tizoc DeAztlan.
“Our team is proud of the campaign we ran and are still confident in our ability to fulfill what we set out to do,” the statement continued. “It was uplifting to see the deep concern people feel for their community manifest itself in the long lines we saw at the polls yesterday.
“However, it’s not over. The election will extend for at least a couple more days as we wait for every ballot to be counted. We trust the Registrar of Voters is handling the process appropriately. We want to make sure every voice is heard, so please continue to reach out with any questions or concerns.”
DeAztlan told Uken Report Team Fermon is “monitoring the case closely.”
“There was a lot of confusion at the polls and people didn’t get the proper answers,” DeAztlan said. “We don’t know how that might affect the tally. We are feeling confident in the trends.”
Meantime, Christy Holstege, a Palm Springs attorney, adavocate, and member of the City Council, is calling on Indio residents to make sure their ballots were counted for Fermon.
Wilson told Uken Report he and his team are optimistic, believe his numbers will hold, and he will be declared the winner.
“I look forward to the final outcome to continue our hard work for the residents of Indio,” Wilson told Uken Report. “The fact that this election was the first for Indio electing Councilmembers from districts made it a new experience for everyone and one that made it difficult to understand the electorate from a campaign perspective.”
Wilson said he is humbled and inspired by the support he gained throughout this campaign from the residents he serves and will continue to serve for four more years.
Wilson has served the city of Indio for 21 years and has served a rotation as mayor five times.
“An elected Councilmember in Indio is a non-partisan office and should be treated as such,” Wilson said. “It is now time to come together and heal the divisions of politics to put Indio first and foremost as the priority. The only way to do this locally, and as a nation, is through dialogue, discussion, compassion, and listening to all perspectives on the issues and creating good public policy that uses a common sense approach. When we all do this, we will all be winners.”