Election 2016: Velazquez headed to another win as Hollister mayor

Mayor Ignacio Velazquez

Incumbent Hollister Mayor Ignacio Velazquez was ahead against challenger Keith Snow for the third consecutive time on Tuesday after initial results were released.

Latest election results released after 10:30 p.m. showed Velazquez up with 68.2 percent of the vote, with Snow picking up 31.3 percent. Initial vote tallies show Velazquez with 2,637 votes and Snow with 1,209.

“I’d like to say thanks to everyone in the city supporting the path we’re on,” Velazquez said in a phone call with the Free Lance after the initial results.

Velazquez was first elected mayor in 2012 and re-elected in 2014. This is the third consecutive time Snow has challenged Velazquez for the two-year term.

In a previous interview with the Free Lance, Velazquez shared his stance on Measure W, the 20-year extension of the city’s 1 percent sales tax.

“The last four years we’ve proven that if we invest that money wisely and pay down debt, we can start the improvements,” he said.

Candidate Snow opposed Measure W, and called it “another political scam” in a previous interview with the Free Lance.

In the same interview, Velazquez spoke on the Hollister Motorcycle Rally, which has suffered from organizational and financial instability in the past. He said the key to the rally’s success is consistency.

“For those promoters that take on the challenge, they need commitment from the community that it’s gonna be there for several years…but unfortunately we’re going back and forth and it’s making it difficult for promoters to look at this rally as something as a long term rally, which is difficult for sponsors to invest in,” Velazquez said in an interview earlier this year.

When asked the same question, Snow said he had an idea for the rally to be family-oriented.

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