Moreno Valley school board member Mike Rios, who faces attempted murder, pimping, pandering, and rape charges, on Tuesday, July 31, took his first steps toward running for the Moreno Valley City Council.
City Clerk Jane Halstead said Rios pulled nomination papers and intends to run in District 1, which Councilman Jesse Molina represents.
Molina and resident Daryl Terrell also have pulled papers. The election will be held Nov. 6.
Rios listed his residence as a home in the 13000 block of Pecan Street, which is in District 1. He most recently lived in District 2, which Mayor Richard Stewart represents. Stewart’s seat will not be on the November ballot.
Rios, 42, said he intends to run for election to end corruption, but would not elaborate.
Rios repeatedly has talked about his plans to run for City Council. A registered Democrat, he ran unsuccessfully for the council in 2008 and was elected to the school board in 2010.
To qualify for a ballot, candidates must file a declaration of candidacy and sign an oath. Candidates have until Aug. 9 to qualify for the ballot.
If elected to the council, Rios would have to resign his school board seat.
For months, members of the Moreno Valley Democratic Club have been collecting signatures to pursue a recall against school board member Rios as a result of the charges against him. Club spokeswoman Ruthee Goldkorn, residents and school district employees have publicly urged him to resign.
Rios has said he has done nothing wrong.
Goldkorn said she wasn’t surprised that Rios pulled nomination papers.
“We knew this was going to happen,” she said.
Goldkorn said volunteers collect signatures for Rios’ recall weekly at a couple of Moreno Valley locations. She said they will continue to do so until October, when she said they must be submitted to the Riverside County Registrar’s Office.
“This is the only way we can stop him,” she said.
In April, Rios was charged with pimping, pandering and rape. Prosecutors believe he persuaded or encouraged four women and two underage girls to work for him as prostitutes. In March, Rios was charged with attempted murder. He is accused of shooting at two people who he said followed him home after a confrontation at a Moreno Valley bar.
Rios, who has not been tried, has his next court appearance set for Aug. 10 in Riverside County Superior Court.
Elected officials typically can hold public office unless they are convicted felons.
Molina said he thought Rios lived outside of his district and is surprised to learn Rios is running for his seat. He said he intends to run the same race, no matter who might compete against him.
“I’m close to my people,” Molina said. “There is no prestige in this. It’s service.”
BY LORA HINES
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