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Get to Know Your 2024 Election Candidates for Mayor

Riverside’s 2024 mayoral race heats up with The Raincross Gazette’s exclusive interviews with incumbent Patricia Lock Dawson and challenger Jessica Qattawi.

Patricia Lock Dawson and Jessica Qattawi will be on the March 5, 2024 ballot as candidate's for Mayor.

As a part of our mission to publish news helpful to Riversiders, The Raincross Gazette is expanding our 2024 Election Guide with a series of interviews with each candidate running for a city office in the March 5, 2024 election. Each candidate had several weeks to answer the same questions written in response to the nearly 500 questions Gazette readers submitted in a survey about their priorities for Riverside in the coming election.

Patricia Lock Dawson

Patricia Lock Dawson is a Riverside native, small business owner, and community leader who has served our city for over 20 years. She currently serves as Mayor of the City of Riverside, having first been elected in 2020. Her election made history as the first UCR graduate and only second woman to become mayor in the city’s 150-year history.

Patricia has long been an active leader in the community, serving on the RUSD Board of Education and Riverside City Planning Commission, and was a 3-time gubernatorial appointee to the state Board of Behavioral Sciences. She’s advocated for and secured millions in state and federal funds to expand parks and recreational opportunities for Inland Southern Californians. 

Patricia has her Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of California, Riverside, a Master of Science in wildlife ecology from the University of Washington in Seattle, and a Master in Business Administration from Claremont Graduate School. She and her husband, Scott, have three children.

Read Patricia’s 2024 Mayoral Candidate Interview

Jessica Qattawi

Jessica Qattawi is the founder of NV Media, LLC, and host of the “What’s Up Inland Empire” podcast, where she’s been a vocal advocate for local businesses. With a three-year tenure as President of the American Advertising Federation - Inland Empire, Qattawi aims to leverage her expertise for Riverside’s economic development, community engagement, public safety, environmental sustainability, and education and innovation. Her campaign prioritizes inclusivity, transparency, and a dedication to Riverside’s prosperity.

Read Jessica’s 2024 Mayoral Candidate Interview

Thomas Hernandez

Thomas Hernandez has been included on our Election Tracker since April 2023, since he had filed his intent to run with the City Clerk at that time. The Raincross Gazette made repeated attempts to contact Hernandez over two months, but he did not return any calls. “He is no longer a candidate,” according to a call to the City Clerk’s office on December 13, 2023.