If the early results hold up, Hollister will have a new mayor for the first time in more than a decade.
As of Nov. 9, according to Nov. 8 election results posted on the San Benito County Elections page, Mia Casey is leading the race for mayor of Hollister with about 59%, or 2,433 of the vote count so far.
Incumbent Mayor Ignacio Velazquez, who was running for reelection to his sixth consecutive term in the local seat, has received 1,700 votes in the 2022 race for mayor so far.
A total of 4,333 ballots have been counted in the Nov. 8 mayor’s race so far, according to the county’s posted unofficial results.
Casey currently leads a nonprofit whose mission is to strengthen the local economy. She has 35 years of experience in the public, private and nonprofit sectors, including 18 years in the legal field “developing expertise managing staff and doing contract review,” she previously told this newspaper. She has also served 10 years in the president’s office of a community college, for which she managed programs and budgets, provided legal coordination and served as Sustainability Coordinator.
Velazquez has been elected as Hollister’s mayor for the past five consecutive two-year terms. He has also been a business owner in Hollister for about 35 years.
Also on the Nov. 8 ballot for Hollister’s voters were the District 2 and 3 seats on the city council—both of which are leaning toward the incumbents.
In the District 2 election, incumbent Councilmember Rolan Resendiz leads the four-candidate field with 46%, or 372 of the ballots counted, according to the county elections site. Trailing Resendiz are Celeste Toledo-Bocanegra with 31%, Hani Mayzouni with 14% and Sergio Montanez with 9%.
In the District 3 election, incumbent Councilmember Dolores Morales leads the ballot count with 56%, or 606 votes. Challenger Rosalinda Sanchez has received about 44% of the vote as of Nov. 9.
Voters want term limits, return of July 4 rally
Voters in Hollister also cast their ballots on three local measures.
On Measure S, which establishes term limits for the city’s mayor and four city councilmembers, about 70% so far have voted Yes.
Measures T and U are both related to the Fourth of July Motorcycle Rally, which has been canceled in recent years due to a combination of factors. Measure T asked voters if they want the rally to return annually on the Fourth of July weekend, while Measure U asked if the event should come back to Hollister during a weekend before or after the Fourth of July.
Voters have resoundingly expressed their preference for a Fourth of July rally, with 62% voting Yes on Measure T. About 59% of ballots counted so far on Measure U are No votes, according to the county elections site.
Measures T and U are advisory measures, and the results do not commit the city to taking the voter-indicated actions.