By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
It's Official - O'Brien Wins Mayor's Post
With certification of the final numbers by the Stanislaus County Clerk Recorder and Registrar of Voters Lee Lundrigan, former Riverbank City Councilman Richard O'Brien has won the office of Riverbank mayor.

Hopeful early on, and in a previous interview with The News, O'Brien was buoyed by the support of the community but still not quite ready to claim victory, and outgoing mayor Virginia Madueno did not concede until the numbers were finally certified. His original lead of more than 130 votes did, in fact, dwindle as absentees and mail-ins were counted in, and the final count showed that every vote in the election did matter.

The Clerk Recorder's announcement of final numbers being certified on Thursday, Nov. 29 saw O'Brien declared the winner by a slim 53-vote margin.

O'Brien, a longtime local businessman, said in his earlier discussion with The News that he has ideas for the city that he would bring forth as mayor and he already has several goals in mind. He stated that the revenue is short again, so they most likely will need to "dip deeper" into the reserves. That's not a solution he supports so he said the city needs to pursue additional revenue sources, possibly through new industries such as solar power.

Another key issue for O'Brien will be bringing in new jobs and he is hoping to work with City Hall to reduce the 'red tape' that always seems to accompany new businesses locating here. He added that he had some goals when he began on the council, not only for the council but also for the city, and he hopes to continue working with the council and Riverbank City Manager Jill Anderson to reach those goals.

"Everyone knows my message of fiscal responsibility. I want to pay the bills," O'Brien said.

California law required certification of this election to take place prior to Dec. 4, 28 days after Election Day and the county was a few days ahead of that deadline.

O'Brien received 3,098 votes, allowing him to oust incumbent mayor Madueno, who received 3,045 votes. O'Brien was in the middle of his term on the council, so one of the first orders of business will be to fill the vacancy on the panel.

There were two council seats filled in the election as well, with incumbent Jeanine D. Tucker earning re-election for a term through 2016 and newcomer Darlene Barber-Martinez securing the seat vacated by Jesse James White, who termed out of office and did not run for the position again.

Tucker, with 1,950 votes, and Barber-Martinez, 1,902 votes, were the top vote getters for the two open city council seats. Cal Campbell received 1771 votes and there is the possibility that he may be appointed to fill the seat vacated by O'Brien when he takes the mayoral post.

The new mayor and council will be sworn in at the Monday, Dec. 10 Riverbank City Council meeting.

Lundrigan stated Stanislaus County received the most provisional ballots in its history for this election, which required additional staff time to count the more than 11,000 cast ballots.

Stanislaus County has 232,887 registered voters and 156,935 voters cast ballots this November. A record breaking 107,102 ballots were cast by mail this year, said Lundrigan, compared with only 49,833 Stanislaus voters going to the polls.

Riverbank News reporters Richard Paloma and Virginia Still contributed to this report.