LAWRENCE, Mass. (AP) - Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua has conceded the city's contested mayor's race to City Councilor Daniel Rivera.
Lantigua congratulated the fellow Democrat on the win and said it was time to give Rivera a chance to lead. Lantigua made the statement Monday evening in Spanish on a local Spanish-language radio station.
"I am not going to disappear. I am not going anywhere," Lantigua said in Spanish, according to The Boston Globe. "I will continue working for the welfare of our people, of our city, the great city of Lawrence."
Official results announced after a recount on Saturday showed Lantigua had lost to Rivera by 81 votes, not 58 as indicated in the unofficial results of the Nov. 5 elections. Lantigua had considered launching a possible court challenge to the vote count.
Rivera has pledged to work for all residents of Lawrence and asked those who supported Lantigua to work with him. Rivera had been endorsed by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas and the local teachers union.
Volunteers recounted thousands of votes by hand at the South Lawrence East School on Saturday. Attorneys for both sides and observers sent by Secretary of State William Galvin monitored the exercise. The ballots had been placed in sealed containers, locked in the vault at the Lawrence elections department, and guarded by police until the recount took place.
Lantigua, 58, was the state's first popularly elected Latino mayor when he won in 2009, but the polarizing figure has faced several high-profile political troubles during his four-year term. He was recently named in a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Martha Coakley that alleged he violated campaign finance laws.
Two of his associates, including his former chief of staff, pleaded not guilty in June to corruption charges.
He has also survived a recall attempt. He has never been charged with any crimes.
Lantigua has also been credited with stabilizing the city's finances and improving city streets.