Cortez wins Wasco council seat by 1 vote
December 3, 2020 | View PDF
Incumbent Mayor Tilo Cortez won by one vote over City Council candidate Eddie Saldana in the District 4 race.
For most of the race, Cortez has led. As of Nov. 25, both were tied at 434 votes until Cortez took a one point lead on Nov. 29, when the county declared the voting complete.
In District 2, Vince Martinez will be the newest City Council member with 414 votes against the next candidate, William David Ward, who received 376 votes.
The votes will be certified on Thursday, Dec. 3 according to previous elections.
Saldana is unhappy with the outcome of the election.
"I had about 800 people come up to me and tell me they voted for me," Saldana said in a phone call on Tuesday.
Unfortunately, the numbers don't show there were even 800 voters for that particular council seat. There were 869 voters for District 4.
Saldana said that he spoke with someone Tuesday morning and was told that it could cost him over $1,000 to file for a recount. A call was made to City Clerk Maria Martinez about this issue, and she suggested a call be made to the elections office.
The elections office was contacted Tuesday morning and an email was received from
While no dollar amount was given in her email, Laura Cantu, the acting division chief, Kern County auditor-controller, said Tuesday that the candidate requesting the recount would have to do so in writing to her office at 1115 Truxtun Avenue, Bakersfield, CA 93301 and the candidate would have to pay the cost of the recount.
Martinez thanked council member Danny Espitia for the many years of his dedicated service to the city as a member of the City Council and said that he is looking forward to working for the people of his hometown.
Cortez said that he is grateful for the numbers of voters who turned out for this election.
"This is the one time when every vote counts," he said. "For anyone thinking his/her vote doesn't matter, each vote matters."
Cortez also said that he looks forward to all the candidates being active in the city in the future.
"The results of this election make sense for the kind of year we have had," Cortez said. "Crazy year, crazy election."
In the election for the Wasco Union High School District board, newcomer John Steward was voted in followed by incumbent Sharon Nicol.
There were no candidates running against any incumbents for the Wasco Union Elementary School District board, so there was no reason to hold an election.