Mayor Ignacio Velazquez said it felt great after seeing election results come through resoundingly in his favor Tuesday.
“It felt great,” he said. “It feels good to know that the public does support my vision. I think we all share that same vision.”
Velazquez is on the way to an easy victory over challengers Gordon Machado and Keith Snow. Velazquez had 51.6 percent of the vote to 32.5 percent for the nearest challenger, Machado. The elections office has more ballots to count, but the margin is insurmountable at this point.
Velazquez, who focused his campaign on a message of slowing local housing growth, will serve his fourth two-year term after the victory.
“I can’t wait to get going and have that conversation with the public,” he said.
He said it’s about more than housing, though. He said housing is the No. 1 issue, but he also wants to focus on infrastructure and quality of life matters.
“I think the public is looking for a council that looks for what they want rather than do what they please,” he said. “We need to start paying attention and stop ignoring the public and get to work.”
He said he’s glad that “negative politics” lost in this election.
Velazquez will be working with a mostly new council. Appointed District 1 Councilwoman Carol Lenoir just joined the council, while three others were elected Tuesday: Marty Richman in District 4, Honor Spencer in District 3 and Rolan Resendiz in District 2.
“I think the No. 1 thing we have to do as a council is have a big town hall meeting with the public so we can listen to them,” he said.
The other new council members won’t have to wait for any final vote counts, either.
Resendiz said he also wants to work very closely with constituents when making his decisions.
“That’s who I’m supposed to represent,” he said.
He said he worked “really hard” until the last minute. Resendiz in the latest results had 65.59% of the vote to 34.41% for incumbent Mickie Luna.
“This was the most contentious, longest job interview I’ve ever been through,” he said. “When I saw those numbers, I thought it was so worth it because I know I did it for the right reasons and the community stands with me.”
Richman said he will work hard to meet voters’ expectations of him. With the latest results, he had 60.9% of the vote to 39.1% for Salvador Mora.
“The only thing I can share at this time is I’m very grateful to all the folks who voted period and especially the folks who voted for me,” he said.
Spencer said she was shocked by the margin in her race. She said she kept watching the results on TV over and over and was losing her voice Tuesday night. With the latest results, Spencer had 45.29% of the vote to 33.03% for Elia Salinas and 21.68% for Raul Escareno.
“If everything keeps going the way it goes and I am declared the winner, I can’t wait to get busy and start working and helping the community,” she said.
She is optimistic about the new council working together.
“I think all of us together, including the mayor, we’re going to have to get along if we really want the best for Hollister,” she said. “It’s going to be a give and take. We’re not going to see eye to eye on everything.”
The San Benito County Elections Office still has ballots to count, so the results are not official quite yet.