A trial date has been set for September 24th for a lawsuit filed back on July 18th by Ex-Mayor of Mission Beto Salinas who has accused the newly elected mayor, Dr. Armando O’Caña of voter fraud and a bunch of other shady dealings.
Back in May, three candidates were on the ballot for Mission’s mayoral contest, then-mayor Salinas, O’Caña, and Jaime Gutierrez. Although Salinas earned the most votes, he failed to achieve an overall majority by a mere 3 votes (49.97%), thus triggering a run-off between himself and O’Caña who finished with 2nd with 41.63% of the vote.
Subsequently, in June 9th’s runoff, O’Caña surprisingly won with 51.15% of the vote. Presumably crying into a pillow somewhere, Salinas decided not to roll over easy and sought legal redress to cope with the loss, à la another valley election loser.
In the lawsuit (the original petition uploaded in full below), Salinas specifically accuses O’Caña and his campaign of “mail-in ballot harvesting” via “assisting” mail-in voters with their ballots as well as instructing them to vote for O’Caña, calls into question that “more than one hundred voters who had been previously registered in other cities and counties, switched their registration in order to vote in this run-off election,” and even bribery, accusing O’Caña of buying his votes in wood (seriously) and cash.
In numerous instances, the lawsuit accuses O’Caña campaign workers of paying voters as little as $10 per vote and as much as $40, which makes me wonder if the guy who was paid ten bucks will feel like a straight-up sucker after reading this lawsuit for not holding out for more cake.
The lawsuit is calling for either the presiding judge to declare Ex-Mayor Salinas the rightful winner of the runoff or to hold a new election altogether.
After presiding over the City of Mission’s top job for 20 years and even having a God-damn park named after him, you’d figure that Salinas would have walked all over O’Caña. Maybe hawking over being Pro-Border Wall when his constituents were overwhelmingly opposed to it may not have been the best idea.
Of all the mudslinging guaranteed to get thrown around on both sides before-during-and-after the trial, there’s already one irrefutable conclusion:
No matter who wins, unfortunately, it feels like the residents of Mission have already lost.