Lawrence mayor-elect Rivera urges Mayor Lantigua not to demand recount

LAWRENCE — Daniel Rivera, who ousted Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua Tuesday by 60 votes, urged the mayor not to demand a recount so the city can move forward.

“This is a time to heal,” he said.

He said Lantigua has not called him to concede.

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Rivera said he would name a transition leader Thursday and, once inaugurated, hire new police officers and focus intensely on creating jobs. He called double-digit unemployment in the city unacceptable.

He also said City Hall employees should not fear for their jobs, if they are performing well.

However, he said that he would place any city worker who has been indicted and is on paid leave—such as former deputy police chief Melix Bonilla — on unpaid leave.

Lantigua could not be found today at City Hall, and his campaign headquarters locked the door and waved a reporter away.

Last night, his campaign expelled English-language media from his campaign headquarters when it appeared that he had lost. However, Lantigua told Univision in Spanish last night that he did not accept defeat and would meet with his legal team today to explore his options.

“Well, there’s no official result,” Lantigua said in Spanish, according to a video online. “I would say there’s no defeat, and no triumph, for anyone.”

He has 10 days to request a recount, according to police guarding the ballots sealed in the City Hall basement.

Inside the election division, city attorney Charles Boddy said officials were still counting about 50 provisional ballots, but that nobody had requested a recount as of the early afternoon.