Veteran Republican congresswoman Mary Bono Mack has conceded the race for the newly drawn 36th district. Upstart candidate and Democrat Raul Ruiz unseated her in a bruising election battle for the Coachella Valley district.
Bono Mack made her announcement shortly after the Riverside County registrar released updated results that give political newcomer Ruiz lead of more than 7,000 votes.
In a statement, the congresswoman said Ruiz’s victory impressed her. She went on to say that Ruiz will do a fine job if the people of the district offer him the kind of guidance they provided to her. Bono Mack asked her constituents to give the Democratic winner the opportunity to succeed.
Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by a narrow majority in the 36th. It’s the first time Bono Mack sought re-election without a Republican registration advantage. About 1/3 of the district's voters are Latinos.
A Riverside County supervisor’s race between Kevin Jefferies and incumbent Bob Buster is still too close to call. So is a trio of Hemet city council races. The county registrar says it could take another couple of weeks to verify the remaining provisional ballots.