SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

November 12, 2013

Lantigua, Rivera set for recount 'fight'

LAWRENCE — Citing “doubts” by thousands of supporters about the legitimacy of the electoral process, Mayor William Lantigua called for a recount of his unofficial 57-vote loss to Daniel Rivera.

Lantigua made his announcement during a 20-minute speech on Spanish-language station WLLH-AM 1400. He spoke from a radio studio at 70 Common St.

Lantigua lost by 60 votes, according to an election-night tally, but gained a net three votes after some absentee and provisional ballots were counted Friday. More than 15,200 ballots have now been counted, with some ballots still outstanding.

“From this moment on, I’m requesting an official and general recount of all the votes cast,” Lantigua said. “If, after each and every one of the votes and the doubts voters have are cleared, and if the results are not favorable to our candidacy, we will be the first ones to accept the results and offer our collaboration for the welfare of our community.”

The mayor made reference to voting machine problems in South Lawrence — Rivera’s stronghold — that forced some ballots to be counted by hand.

“The democratic process of the United States, the same which has allowed me to speak to you today as your mayor, says that the legitimacy of an election does not end until the last doubt of the voters and every vote has been counted,” he said.

Rivera said he did not listen to Lantigua’s radio address.

“It was irrelevant,” said Rivera. “He’s just putting off the inevitable; 57 votes is impossible to overcome.

“First of all, Willy wants to win. He doesn’t care about the community even though it will cost money, time and further division in our community.”

He has called on the mayor to concede.

Rivera, who has already named two co-chairs of his transition team, said he and his team are not worried about the recount.

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