Bono Mack Concedes Race for the 36th Congressional District

Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack called Raul Ruiz Friday to congratulate him.

Update 6:40 p.m. Nov. 9

Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack released this statement Friday night, conceding the race for the 36th Congressional District to Raul Ruiz:

Dear friends,

Thank you for giving me the distinct honor of serving in the United
States House of Representatives for 14 years. Today, I called Dr.
Ruiz and congratulated him on his impressive victory. Dr. Ruiz will
do a fine job if he is guided as well by the people of the
congressional district as I was. Please give him the opportunity to

After 25 years of public life in the beautiful desert, it is now time
for me to start a new chapter in my life. My family and I are very
excited about the prospect. It was almost 15 years ago that Sonny
died and I became a Congresswoman. Honestly, nobody worked harder or
gave more since then than my two amazing children. They, along with
my stepson Chaz, my grandson Sonny and my beloved husband Connie have
been so supportive of me this week. I simply couldn't ask for more.

Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support.

With love to all and may God continue to bless the United States of


Ruiz followed up by releasing his statement:

"I believe that this election sends a message that it's time to put an end to partisan gridlock," Ruiz said. "I'm excited to go to Washington and represent the entire district -- including supporters of Congresswoman Bono Mack. The issues that we have to work on are clear -- the high cost of health care, bringing jobs to the Coachella Valley and investing in education and renewable energy."

Ruiz, an emergency room doctor, had seen his lead increase over the past few days as provisional, mail-in and damaged ballots continued to be counted.

Bono Mack has represented the 45th district since 1998, when she won a special election after her husband Sonny Bono died in a skiing accident.

Update 6 p.m. Nov. 9

Raul Ruiz's lead over Mary Bono Mack is now 7,268 votes, according to the registrar's latest release. Ruiz has 52% of the vote to Bono Macks 48%.

181,998 total votes have now been counted, with Ruiz sitting at 94,633 and Bono Mack at 87,365.

The Desert Sun reported today that rumors of a Bono Mack concession are false.

A tweet was sent out from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee today that read: "BREAKING: Mary Bono Mack has just conceded in CA-36. Congratulations Raul Ruiz, California's newest Congressman."

However, Bono Mack chief of staff Frank Cullen said that he was unaware of any concession call, according to The Desert Sun.

Bono Mack put out a statement on Wednesday stating that she will be awaiting the impact of this large number of remaining ballots before making any further statements.

Update 6:15 p.m. Nov. 8

The latest update provided by the Riverside County Registrar of Voters shows challenger Raul Ruiz has slightly widened his lead over Rep. Mary Bono Mack.

Early Thursday, Ruiz was leading 51.40% to 48.60% and a total of 4,557 votes.

The current update, released after 5:30 p.m., shows Ruiz increasing his lead by 122 votes, giving him a total of 85,419 to Bono Mack's 80,740.

"We are confident that when the remaining vote-by-mail and provisional ballots are counted we will maintain our lead and win this election," Kyle Layman, campaign manager for Ruiz, said Friday night in a statement. 

The next update is expected to be released around 6 p.m. Friday.

Update 3 p.m. Nov. 7:

Despite the current preliminary results that put Dr. Raul Ruiz in the lead to be the next congressman for the Coachella Valley and San Gorgonio Pass areas, the Mary Bono Mack campaign is holding out a bit longer before any concessions will be made, to ensure all votes are tallied up.

Bono Mack Campaign Political Director Marc Troast said Wednesday:

“With more than 180,000 ballots still to be counted around Riverside County, it is premature to consider any election results final. Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack and her campaign will be awaiting the impact of this large number of remaining ballots before making any further statements on the 36th Congressional District race.”

Original story as follows:

The latest results in the heated race for the 36th congressional district show that Dr. Raul Ruiz has managed to pull out ahead of incumbent Mary Bono Mack.

Bono Mack had been holding onto a lead of a hundred or so votes through the night, but as of the 7:30 a.m. update posted by the registrar of voters, Ruiz closed the hundred-vote gap-- and then some.

At 7:30 a.m., he had 78,880 votes, or 51.43%.  Bono Mack had 74,494.

Those numbers were updated a little while later to show 100% of the district's 448 precincts reporting:

  • Ruiz: 83,402, or 51.40%
  • Bono Mack: 78,845, or 48.6%

There are still some ballots left to count, according to the registrar's office.

"Approximately, 105,000 vote-by-mail, 60,000 provisional, and 18,000 damaged ballots that require duplication still must be processed," a message from the registrar says online.  "Work on those ballots begins today. The next updated results will be posted at 6pm on Thursday."

Keep checking HERE for real time results as they come down.


  • Get the latest updates on all other local races by clicking here.

When election night parties wrapped up on Tuesday, Bono Mack was holding onto a 280 vote lead.

"It's a tight race, we were expecting a tight race," Bono Mack said at the Republian gathering in Palm Desert. "We're also used to kind of slow races. The results kind of trickle out slowly here. But you know, we're in for the long haul. It's a spirited race, a close race but still feeling very optimistic. Of course a night like this you'd like to have it over sooner rather than later and have a huge number but that's not the case it's a tight race, and again we're feeling very optimistic."

Meanwhile, at the Democratic party in Cabazon, Ruiz was also hopeful that the night would be in his favor, since his campaign was counting on in-person votes, versus mail-in ballots.

"And here in the Coachella Valley, we have a chance of doing something that few people thought we could do just a few months ago," he said to the gathering at Morongo Casino Resort & Spa.  The most recent count has us down by a few hundred votes, and every count brings us closer."

"Tonight, we wait," he continued.  "But tomorrow, no matter what the results, the hard work begins tomorrow. Tomorrow, we begin anew, committed to creating new jobs, protecting secure retirements for our seniors, and building a promising future for our young people."

Follow Banning-Beaumont Patch on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for the free daily newsletter here.

Jack Smith November 09, 2012 at 05:45 PM
ritten? considere?
Reginia Sam November 09, 2012 at 11:13 PM
Will he be a doctor at the same time as a congressman?
MARLENE LEVINE November 10, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Pinkmondy November 10, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Dr. Raul Ruiz, Congratulations on your resounding win for Congress! I am so excited for you and am pleased and proud of the man we're sending to represent us in Washington. You are an intelligent, good and decent human being whom will be a stellar representative of the people. So proud & happy for you...and me!
John Mackey November 12, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Congratulations, Dr Ruiz, Please Don't Forget The Salton Sea. We need The New River to conduct clean sea-water from The Gulf, which will be pumped up to Mexicali. We will need a Desalination plant in the Valley to make the saline load the same as the Gulf. We need to figure out what to do w/all that salt!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »