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Rick Perez says he had no real special interests for himself going into this year’s race for the Hollister Council District 1 seat except for one.

“My interests are for the people,” he said after seeing initial results of the election posted Tuesday night. “My voice is for the people, they’re what it’s all about. The people are the community.” 

Rick Perez

The community from District 1 believes that Perez has what it takes to become their voice of reason as he currently leads in the vote count with 66 percent, or 2,002 ballots. His opponent, Jose Fernandez, has received about 34 percent of the vote, or 1,029 ballots. 

Perez, who was hanging out at a small barbecue on Nov. 3, said he was honored to win the city council seat. 

“I felt pretty confident just for the simple fact that I’ve had a lot of support from neighbors, friends and family,” Perez said. “It was just a grassroots campaign, so it’s pretty much all me.”

There are several issues that Perez would like to address right off the bat, yet, he said he knows it’ll take some time before he can check them off his list. First and foremost, he wants to see some more funding dedicated to local agencies such as the police and fire departments, especially with the recent crime activity in town. 

“Just looking at the signs of the times and the way the world is, I think we need to support them a lot,” Perez said. 

Perez talked about the result of Measure N, which did not pass, and how the Strada Verde project might have turned into a small city alongside Highway 25. He claimed that the commercial project would’ve just created unwanted traffic that the community doesn’t want. 

“Unfortunately with our traffic situation, we’re playing catch-up from the lack of funds,” he said. “We’re a decade behind.”

Perez, who has an extensive background in building maintenance, thinks he has the insight to help with infrastructure repairs and other issues such as roads and sidewalks repair.

The 56-year old Hollister resident mentioned that he’s the first person in his family to go into the uncharted territory of politics. He said that it’s a pretty special moment in time to set an example for the youngsters. 

“I get to set an example that no matter where you come from, what city or what culture, you can do it,” he said. “I’m pretty speechless right now.”

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