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Dhaliwal declared victory in Lathrop mayor’s race

After another round of ballots were released by the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters on Tuesday, Lathrop Mayor Sonny Dhaliwal was finally ready to declare that he won his bid for a sixth term.

Dhaliwal – who was already the city’s longest-serving mayor – will serve an unprecedented sixth term after the most recent ballot drop showed that his wide lead continued the trend as even more ballots were formally counted. He currently has 4,698 votes to challenger John Thanh Do’s 1,277 – accounting for 78.6 of the total ballots cast.

It also appears that Dhaliwal will have familiar faces on the council as incumbents Paul Akinjo and Diane Lazard appear poised to be reelected.

“It doesn’t happen very often that all of the incumbents get reelected,” Dhaliwal said. “It shows that people are happy, and they put their stamp of approval on the direction that the city is going.”

With his time on the planning commission included, Dhaliwal has served Lathrop residents for more than two decades – first appointed to the council in 2006 before being elected for two consecutive terms. Dhaliwal only served half of that second term before running for mayor in 2012 and unseating incumbent Joseph “Chaka” Santos.

He has held the mayor’s seat ever since.

In his time serving on the council in an elected capacity, Dhaliwal has worked with other council members and the staff to steer Lathrop through the collapse of the housing market and the ensuing economic crisis – where Lathrop was facing a $16 million deficit to its general fund – and into one of the fastest growing cities in California.

Just don’t expect him to take all the credit.

“One person cannot take credit – being a part of a team and getting to see Lathrop grow the way that it has is a very good feeling,” Dhaliwal said. “The thing that I’m most proud of during my time on the council is being accessible – giving people the chance to voice their concerns and work for them.”

With the addition of the Lathrop Police Department in the last year and several major projects currently underway in the city – in addition to River Islands and multiple industrial properties – Dhaliwal said that the city is in a good position and will continue to work to bring the amenities that Lathrop residents want and need in their community.

At the end of the day, he said, taking care of Lathrop’s residents is what the job of mayor is all about, and it’s something that he intends to do with the same dedication he has for the past six elections.

“I’m going to continue to work hard to bring the amenities that our residents need and continue to work hard to improve the quality of life of our citizens,” Dhaliwal said. “Bring jobs, bring retail, bring more businesses, keep the crime low, and protect the families.

“I thank the people of Lathrop and look forward to serving them again.”

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.