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Lazar to seek reelection
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It’s official: Turlock Mayor John Lazar will seek reelection in the Nov. 2 Turlock City Council election.Lazar, a real estate broker who has served as mayor since 2006 and sat as a councilmember from 1992 through 2006, formally pulled papers to run on Friday afternoon.“I weighed the merits of it, and honestly my interest is for my community and I think it’s in the best interest of my community to seek reelection,” Lazar said.Lazar acknowledged the past four years as mayor have been trying at times, with a divided council publicly arguing at council meetings and a significant upheaval at Turlock City Hall – including the firing of former City Manager Tim Kerr and the hiring of former Modesto Police Chief Roy Wasden as city manager. But Lazar believes he brings 18 years of valuable experience and perspective to the position of mayor.  It’s only by knowing where Turlock has been and where it is going that the city can achieve its best, Lazar said.“I love Turlock and I want to do all I can to preserve its quality of life and make sure it’s a stellar example for the rest of the community,” Lazar said.Lazar is the only candidate for Turlock mayor thus far.Incumbent Council member Ted Howze, whose term will expire this year, has been linked to a mayoral campaign – having opened an exploratory committee called “Friends of Ted Howze for Mayor 2010” – but says he has yet to make up his mind about November’s race.In addition to the mayoral position, two City Council member seats will also be on the ballot in November. Four candidates have formally announced their intention to run for those seats: Forrest White, a former Turlock Recreation Manager and San Joaquin County Fair chief who wants the council to become more transparent and less divisive; Timm LaVelle, a small business owner and former Turlock Unified School District trustee; Pat Noda, a Turlocker upset with the city’s finances, new bus hub, street system, and lack of a homeless shelter; and Jeremy Rocha, 22, a two-time City Council candidate and recent California State University, Stanislaus graduate who hopes to put his Political Science degree to the test on the council.Incumbent Council member Kurt Spycher announced July 2 he would not seek reelection this November.As of Tuesday afternoon, only Lazar and White had pulled the official papers required to run, according to Turlock City Clerk Rhonda Greenlee. No candidates have yet submitted their completed forms, she said.Candidates have until Aug. 6 to file the necessary paperwork to run for Turlock mayor. Those interested in a Turlock City Council seat have until an extended Aug. 11 deadline, due to Spycher’s decision not to seek reelection.To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.