Candidates for local offices have expanded their leads in the Nov. 8 election, as San Benito County elections officials continue to count ballots in races for Hollister and San Juan Bautista city offices and a slew of ballot measures in precincts throughout the county.
In the race for mayor of Hollister, Mia Casey leads incumbent Ignacio Velazquez with 58% or 4,795 of the votes counted as of Nov. 15. Velazquez has received about 42% or 3,438 votes, according to the San Benito County Elections Office.
Velazquez was running for his sixth consecutive term in an election where voters have become increasingly concerned about the likely heavy residential and commercial growth headed toward Hollister and San Benito County.
Casey, a political newcomer who has made an effort to become more involved in the community in recent years, said she “wanted to acknowledge and thank” Velazquez for his decade of service to Hollister.
She thinks her campaign message promoting changes in Hollister was key to her Nov. 8 mayoral election victory.
“I’ve been pretty overwhelmed by all the support I’ve gotten from the community,” Casey said. “I ran on this message of hope and change, and I think it resonates. I believe in the promise of Hollister—we all want to preserve and protect our small town charm and heritage. We need to overcome the challenges and move in a positive direction.”
To Casey, those challenges include figuring out “ways to work within the constraints of state housing mandates” to encourage more affordable and rental projects, and revitalizing downtown Hollister.
In other City of Hollister races, city council incumbents Rolan Resendiz and Dolores Morales continue to hold solid leads in their races for District 2 and District 3, respectively. As of Nov. 15, Resendiz leads the four-candidate field with about 48% or 777 votes. Trailing Resendiz are Celeste Toledo-Bocanegra with about 27% or 437 ballots; Hani Mayzouni with about 16% or 266 votes; and Sergio Montanez with about 9% or 140 ballots.
Morales has received about 57% or 1,145 votes; and challenger Rosalinda Sanchez has gained 43% of the votes counted as of Nov. 15.