Editor’s note: This article was updated Nov. 10, 2020.
Patricia Lock Dawson continues to hold a lead over Andy Melendrez in the runoff contest for the mayor of Riverside.
As of 7 p.m. on Nov. 10, 55% of the total votes had been counted, with Lock Dawson 15,000 votes ahead.
Because of the delayed nature of elections during COVID-19, the final results will not be announced until later this month.
On election night, Lock Dawson said she was excited about her early lead and the possibility of moving Riverside forward.
“I’m very excited, I’m very humbled, and I’m very grateful,” said Lock Dawson, who is also a small business owner, environmental scientist and board member for the Riverside Unified School District.
She said she is planning to take a running start in office if elected and move Riverside into a place that is more inclusive for all.
Melendrez, who is also a current Riverside city council member, said he is disappointed in the outcome thus far. He was looking forward to implementing his ideas regarding the economic state of Riverside. However, he said he still remains optimistic about the possible outcome of the election.
“We’re a bit disappointed, but we still have a long way to go,” Melendrez said. “We’re still optimistic. We’ll see what the end of the evening brings.”
This particular election brought a new wave of interest into local politics. Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey III has served since 2012, and his decision not to run in 2020 brought two new candidates into the race.
Keilah Diaz, freshman photography major, is a first-time voter in an election. Diaz said she is passionate about political issues and believes strongly in participating in local races.
“I believe that being involved in local government is crucial,” Diaz said. “There is so much importance in voting for those who play essential roles in our local communities, especially during a pandemic.”
Mail-in votes will continue to be counted throughout the next week. Vote numbers will be updated as the week continues. The next round of votes are expected to be posted at 6 p.m. Nov. 11.