Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua Conceded Defeat

He told supporters he had called city councilor Daniel Rivera to congratulate him.

After a close election and a bitter recount, Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua phoned his challenger Daniel Rivera to concede, he announced in a statement on a Spanish-language radio program Monday night.

An initial count on election day showed Rivera, a city councilor and Army veteran, defeating Lantigua by about 60 votes out of over 15,000 cast. Lantigua got enough signatures to demand a recount, which put Rivera’s lead at about 80 votes. Lantigua still bemoaned the election’s “irregularities” and said he could have taken legal action, but decided not to.

“It’s time for us to heal the wounds,” Lantigua said in Spanish according to the Boston Globe. “It’s time to give support to Mr. Rivera so that he can continue the good municipal government work that we have proudly carried out in Lawrence.”

Though Lantigua lost only narrowly and still has enthusiastic supporters, reviews of his mayorship, the first in the state held by a Latino, have been … mixed. Several of his top supporters have been indicted on corruption charges. And the city has long been troubled with unemployment, crime, and poverty. In his statement, though, Lantigua said he didn’t want people to ignore gains under his administration, even as he supports a transition to the new one.

For his part, Rivera told the Globe he was glad to hear from Lantigua, and “We’re not going to let the river or ethnicity or old grudges divide us any longer.” And thus ends our Election Day coverage for 2013, a mere 20 or so days after it began.