Bailey, Adkison in Runoff for Riverside Mayor's Race - NBC Southern California
2012 Elections: News, Analysis, Videos, and Breaking on the Presidential Election, Local Elections, and More

2012 Elections: News, Analysis, Videos, and Breaking on the Presidential Election, Local Elections, and More

Complete coverage of the 2012 election

Bailey, Adkison in Runoff for Riverside Mayor's Race

Rusty Bailey and Ed Adkison are running for an office that has been held by Mayor Ron Loveridge for nearly 20 years. The choice voters face Nov. 6 is one of leadership style



    Bailey, Adkison in Runoff for Riverside Mayor's Race
    Ed Adkison (left) and Rusty Bailey are involved in a Nov. 6 runoff for Riverside mayor.

    It has been nearly two decades since Riverside voters did not have Ron Loveridge as a choice for mayor on their ballots.

    But Loveridge, first elected mayor in 1994, is not running after his fifth term ends, opening the door for Councilman William "Rusty" Bailey and former council member Ed Adkison.

    The two long-time Riverside residents are involved in a run-off election for the seat.

    Bailey finished ahead of Adkison in the June primary, but not by enough votes to avoid the November runoff to decide who will be spokesperson and ceremonial head of California's 12th-largest city.

    Bailey finished with 33 percent of the vote, Adkison with 27 percent in the seven-candidate primary.

    "There are a lot of commonalities in terms of things they're interested in," said UC Riverside political science Assistant Prof. Martin Johnson. "There is a lot of agreement on the big stuff going on in Riverside."

    The big stuff included a multi-year redevelopment program on which the outgoing mayor and council, including Bailey and Adkison, have worked for several years.

    Riverside Renaissance was approved by the council in late 2006, and both candidates have voiced support for continuing major renovations and the projects completed under the five-year Renaissance plan.

    They both claim prominent endorsements and long-standing ties to the community.

    "Where they have differences mostly revolves around style," said Johnson. 

    Johnson summarized the public perception of the two: Bailey is often characterized as a consensus builder who tries to promote unanimous votes on the council; Adkison's supporters call him a leader who brings a direct approach.

    Bailey, a 40-year-old West Point grad endorsed by the outgoing mayor in July, is serving his second term as Ward 3 representative on the city council. The Poly High School teacher was born and raised in Riverside.

    He cited his public and military service  -- Bailey served as a helicopter pilot, platoon leader and company executive officer in the U.S. Army -- among his qualifications for the mayor's office. Bailey describes his style as "facilitative leadership," adding that his time at West Point influenced how he leads.

    "What they teach you there is first you have to be a follower to be a leader," Bailey said.

    Parks space is among the priorities Bailey would address early in his term, if elected. The former player and coach would like to bring a state-of-the-art competitive soccer complex to Riverside.

    Longer term, he plans to consider options for a street car system that would connect the university and college areas with commercial districts.

    "We have 65,000 students in Riverside, so we have an opportunity to look at that as a transportation mode," said Bailey.

    Adkison's second and final council term as 5th Ward representative ended in 2007. The volunteer pilot and 32-year Riverside resident has owned a civil engineering firm, Adkan Engineering, for nearly 30 years.

    Adkison also was a member of the Riverside County Airport Land Use Commission. 

    During the campaign, he has pointed to his business experience as something that will help Riverside in the current economic climate. Click here for the action plan list on Adkison's web site.

    "This city has been good to me and my family," Adkison said. "I want to give back. I want to bring my business sense to City Hall."

    The 32-year Riverside resident described himelf as a "situational leader."

    "If you handle the small problems, won't have any large problems," Adkison said.

    Adkison, 56, mentioned transportation and the city's water and power supply as piorities he would like to discuss. As the community's residents age, they will need more transportation options, Adkison said, adding that the same kind of long-term thinking applies to power and water needs.

    "We also need to look to see where we get water 100 years from now, where we get electricity 100 years from now so that when our grandchildren retire they have the quality of life we have today," Adkison said.

    Click here for more information about elections in Riverside County.