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Mayor Lazar drops election plans

Soiseth currently unrivaled for 2014 Turlock Mayor race

Mayor Lazar drops election plans


POSTED March 31, 2014 9:39 p.m.

Late Monday evening, Turlock Mayor John Lazar confirmed that he is dropping out of the 2014 election, bringing an end to his 8-year run as Turlock Mayor.

Although Lazar had filed his notice of intent to seek reelection with the Stanislaus County Clerk-Recorder’s Office in early March, the two-term Mayor says that he has turned on his initial plans of seeking a third term in November due to family, business, and current city obligations.

“It has been one of my highest honors to serve as Turlock Mayor,” said Lazar in an official statement. “For 22 years I have worked hard to make our city a better place. My 8 years as mayor will be cherished.”

According to Lazar, some of his most memorable moments as Turlock Mayor include the reopening of the Carnegie Arts Center, the landing of the Blue Diamond Facility in the Turlock Regional Industrial Park, and the recently developed state-of-the-art Public Safety Center in Downtown Turlock. Perhaps most importantly, Lazar noted the ability to help ensure first-rate city services to Turlock residents as being what he enjoyed most throughout his time as Mayor.

“Being Turlock’s Mayor is a full-time job. But I have another job also, and, as a husband and father, even more important obligations,” said Lazar. “It is now time for me to focus more on my family and my job. I love Turlock, and will always support our city, but for a few years I need to spend less time on city issues, and more on family.”

In addition to thanking his family and friends for their continual support, Lazar also wished to thank the citizens of Turlock and previous supporters for their years of loyalty.

“It has been a privilege serving the citizens of Turlock. Current city obligations on a daily basis occupy a great portion of my day. At the forefront of these are discussions on an initiative to fix Turlock’s aging streets, the presentation of a city-wide district election system, and ongoing consideration of a regional water plan,” said Lazar, explaining the various issues currently facing the City Council that will continue to progress throughout the year.

“I will see these through for the year, but will not be filing for reelection this August,” said Lazar.

With Lazar’s announcement to officially withdraw from the November election, the Mayor’s race could be a sure thing for the currently unrivaled Turlock farmer Gary Soiseth, who announced his candidacy for Turlock Mayor last Tuesday as Turlockers gathered for his official campaign launch held at Latif’s Restaurant.

 Focusing on bringing sustainable infrastructure solutions to Turlock’s current diminishing groundwater resources, Soiseth has pledged his continual dedication to improving the City’s inadequate highway interchanges and neglected local roadways if elected as mayor. Other plans include furthering economic growth initiatives to better protect businesses and farms from residential encroachment, setting forth new conditions for business expansion and relocation into Turlock, while also enforcing clear growth patterns to help protect prime agricultural land.

The young candidate's diverse background includes having spent the past four years working in Afghanistan on agriculture development, teaching in the Political Science Department at California State University, Stanislaus, and advising Modesto Irrigation District management on water and energy policy. With his vast experience, Soiseth hopes to restore relationships with Turlock’s city, county and regional stakeholders in addition to protecting taxpayer dollars.

Former Mayor Curt Andre, who served the City of Turlock for 16 years, endorsed Soiseth early last week, saying, “it is time for the next generation step forward and lead.”

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