Reported controversy surrounding election results in Orange Cove. Former longtime mayor Victor Lopez recently secured a seat on the city council. Now one woman, who was recalled, is making serious claims that Lopez’s campaign intimidated voters.
Workers put up a large Christmas tree, decorated with orange lights, on Thursday afternoon. Orange Cove's first Subway and a new dollar store are currently under construction. The improvements are only overshadowed by the deep divide in local politics. At the center is the most recognizable name in the community, Victor Lopez. After losing his seat two years ago, he recently won a spot on the city council.
Mayor Pro Tem Glenda Hill, who was recalled in the November 6th election, says voters complained to her about Lopez's campaign tactics.
“There is something there. We just ask people that it's happened to come forward and be willing to spare their family anymore grief and not having this happen again, their vote being stolen or being harassed,” said Hill.
Lopez says he worked hard and repeatedly walked precincts, but did nothing illegal.
“The people spoke real loud and clear,” said Lopez.
Lopez was the top vote-getter by over one hundred votes. All three of the men and women he campaigned with earned a spot on the city council. As for the alleged election problems, Lopez says he has not been contacted by any investigators.
“People will always be disgruntled, people that don't care, people that lie a lot. You have that element in every community,” said Lopez.
The Secretary of State’s spokesperson could not confirm whether the election fraud department is investigating the matter, citing confidentiality.