CATHEDRAL CITY –John A. Rivera, who on Election Day led his District 4 opponent, Ernesto Gutierrez, by 99 votes and now trails him by 64, told Uken Report if he remains behind, he will not seek a recount.

“There are people asking me to do it, but I will not request it,” Rivera told Uken Report. “That never goes well for the candidate.”

Rivera made his declaration while an estimated 2,000 vote-by-mail ballots and approximately 36,000 Provisional ballots have yet to be processed. The 38,000 ballots yet to be processed are “only an estimate and will not reflect precise machine counting,” the Riverside County Registrar of Voters has repeatedly cautioned.

The next updated results will be posted at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4.

“If it’s a win for Ernesto, it’s a win for Ernesto, and I can live with that,” Rivera said. “For a first-timer like me, it’s not a bad showing. “

Depending on the day, Rivera and Gutierrez have consistently held the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the four-way race.

No stranger to public service, Rivera has earned a highly regarded reputation in Cathedral City.

Rivera, 58, a licensed architect in the state of California, has served on the Planning Commission for six years and was the Chair for the past two years. He also served on the Architectural Review Committee since 2007 where he continues to serve as Committee Chair. He also served on the city’s Historic Preservation Task Force during which time he wrote the city’s Historic Preservation Ordinance to be adopted as part of the current zoning ordinance.

“However the election process turns out, it was a very moving experience,” Rivera said. “I made promises to voters that I cannot walk away from.”

So, what is Plan B? Stay tuned.

Although Rivera will not seek a recount, any person registered to vote in the state of California can request it, and there are rumblings that someone will.

That person must file a written request. The person requesting the recount must pay for it. Until all ballots are counted, the estimated cost of a recount in Cathedral City is unavailable.  Additionally:

  • The request may specify the order in which the precincts shall be recounted, and
  • Voter may select whether the recount shall be conducted manually or by means of the voting system used, or both.
  • The request must be submitted, in writing, to the Elections Official no later than five (5) calendar days following certification of the election.

To learn more about the recount procedure, read here.

Like the Indio City Council race, the City Council race in Cathedral City also turned politically nasty.  Gutierrez, a registered Republican, was lambasted for his conservative values and for being a Trump supporter. He was called out publicly for spending $225 on political banners from Mexico rather than patronize local businesses.  Turns out, one of Gutierrez’s nephews was trying to help his uncle.

Gutierrez was also chided for closing a restaurant in Palm Springs after the city would not give him financial aid.

Rivera had the endorsements from the entire City Council except for then-Mayor Stan Henry who endorsed Gutierrez.