Ruiz Riding Latino Vote to Congressional Victory in Riverside County

Nov. 8, 2012 / By

Editor’s Note: As of late Wednesday night, the official count had Democrat Raul Ruiz leading Republican incumbent Mary Bono Mack in California’s 36th Congressional District by 2.8 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting. With some absentee ballots still to be counted, Bono Mack had not yet conceded the race. An announcement of the final tally is expected to come by Thursday evening.

By BRENDA RINCON, New America Media/Coachella Unincorporated

COACHELLA, Calif. – It is the morning after the election, but no one is talking about the President in this Riverside County town.

The only candidate people are talking about here is Raul Ruiz, the 40-year-old doctor, Democrat, and son of farm workers from Coachella who on Wednesday pulled ahead of longtime Republican incumbent Mary Bono Mack by about 4,000 votes in the race for California’s 36th congressional district.

“People are talking more about Ruiz than Obama,” said Loretta Cota, a teacher from Coachella. “There was a lot more interest this election because everyone feels a connection to Raul because he grew up here. He wants to serve everyone — farmworkers, immigrants, first-generation college educated students.”

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Coachella Unincorporated

Coachella Unincorporated is a Youth Media Startup in the East Coachella Valley, funded by the Building Healthy Communities Initiative of The California Endowment and operated by New America Media in San Francisco. The purpose of the project is to report on issues in the community that can bring about change. Coachella Unincorporated refers to the region youth journalists cover but also to the unincorporated communities of the Eastern Valley with the idea to “incorporate” the East Valley into the mainstream Coachella Valley mindset.