PALM DESERT, Calif - Longtime Republican Rep. Mary Bono Mack has lost her seat to Democrat Raul Ruiz, a Harvard-educated physician who mobilized the district's growing swath of Hispanic voters. Ruiz led by nearly 7,300 votes Friday out of more than 180,000 cast.
Late Friday Dr. Raul Ruiz received a phone call from Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack conceding the race for the 36th Congressional District, and released the following statement: "Today, I had the opportunity to talk with Congresswoman Bono Mack, thank her for her dedicated public service to our community, and talk about working together for the benefit of our community moving forward after this hard-fought election.
"I believe that this election sends a message that it's time to put an end to partisan gridlock. 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 healthcare, bringing jobs to the Coachella Valley, and investing in education and renewable energy.
"My door is always open to everyone. If you have a good idea - Democrat or Republican - I want to hear it. This is one of the most important lessons I have learned throughout my life, and this campaign - that we achieve more through conversation than confrontation. "Today, I will celebrate this big victory with my supporters, family and friends, but tomorrow the hard work begins, and I can't wait to get to work."
Bono Mack also released a statement late Friday. 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 succeed.
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 America, Mary
Meanwhile, the Registrar says that approximately, 49,500 vote-by-mail, 60,000 provisional, and 13,500 damaged ballots that require duplication still must be processed. The next updated results will be posted at 6pm on Saturday.