Election season has officially begun in San Benito County, with the filing period ending Aug. 10. Topping the list of hotly contested races will be the race for mayor of Hollister, where two-term incumbent Ignacio Velazquez faces three challengers.
Velazquez filed his candidacy paperwork days before the filing deadline. Council Districts 3 and 4, as well as the city treasurer’s position, will not have incumbents running. Because incumbents have decided not to run, the deadline to file for the District 3 and 4 seats as well as the city treasurer position was extended until Aug. 15.
In the mayoral race, Velasquez, who has served two consecutive two-year terms, will run against Gordon Machado, Zavan Quezada and Keith Snow. Machado previously served 12 years on the Hollister City Council and eight on the Gilroy Planning Commission. Snow previously ran for mayor in 2012.
The District 2 race will be between incumbent Mickie Solorio Luna and challenger Rolan Resendiz.
With no incumbents running in the District 3 race, the candidates as of Aug. 10 were Raul Escareno, Kenneth Johnson, Honor Spencer and Elia Salinas. Spencer is a member of the Board of Supervisors for the Sunnyslope Water District.
The District 4 race is for a two-year seat. The candidates as of Aug. 10 were Marty Richman, Leila Sadeghian and Salvador Mora. Richman ran for mayor in 2012. Current District 4 Councilman Jim Gillio is running for the District 4 County Board of Supervisors seat.
City Treasurer Geri Johnson will not be seeking re-election. Anietra Gomez is running for the position unopposed.
In the San Benito County Board of Supervisors race, Districts 3 and 4 will be holding contested elections. District 3 incumbent Robert Rivas isn’t seeking re-election. The two candidates running in the district as of Aug. 10 were Patricia Loe and Peter D. Hernandez Jr. , with the filing deadline extended until Aug. 15.
The District 4 race is between incumbent Jerry Muenzer and Hollister City Councilman Jim Gillio, a former Gilroy police officer.
In order to vote by mail in the Nov. 6 election, a request for a mail in ballot must be made by Oct. 30. For the ballot to be counted it must be postmarked on or before Nov. 6, and received within three days of the election.