The mayoral race in Hollister was crowded this election, with incumbent Ignacio Velazquez facing opposition from former council member and county planning commissioner Gordon Machado and vocal resident, Keith Snow. Velazquez managed a significant victory on Nov 6, garnering nearly 52 percent of the vote with 2,912 votes cast in his favor.
Velazquez has been vocal about his stance on growth, voting ito oppose development within the city until a viable plan for growth is made. With three council seats up for election this year, Velazquez had hoped to gain more votes that would side with him on issues of growth.
He publically expressed his support for candidate Rolan Resendiz, who ran in District 2 against incumbent Mickie Solorio Luna. Luna had substantial support from prominent members of the Democratic party and she had been on the council for two terms.
Resendiz beat Luna in a major upset with 690 votes and nearly 66 percent of the total vote.
When speaking about Resendiz’s win Velazquez said, “I’m very excited, he’s a person that went out there and listened to the people.”
Velazquez fought his own contentious campaign against Machado, who held opposing views on many prominent issues in Hollister, including the development of the 400 block of San Benito Street.
“I knew given the chance, the people would make the right choice,” Velazquez told the Free Lance.
He said he is excited about building a new vision for Hollister and hopes to get the council together for a town hall where the residents can express concerns that the new council can respond to with plans they can implement.
Velazquez will be serving with an entirely new council, Carol Lenoi was recently appointed to a vacated seat in District 1, Resendiz won his election in District 2, Honor Spencer won District 3 and Marty Richman has won his campaign for District 4.
Velazquez said he was not surprised by his win because he has always made it a point to listen to the residents of Hollister. “The people believed in what I’ve been saying and they’re asking to be heard,” he said.