Mark Holland, who had a two-to-one margin in the mayoral primary tonight over second-place winner Ann Murguia, said he was very pleased with the election results.
The top two vote-getters will go on to the general election April 2. Incumbent Mayor Joe Reardon did not run for re-election.
“I’m very pleased with the support we were able to garner from around the community,” Mark Holland said. “We knew we had great support going in, and we were glad to see that come to fruition tonight.”
He was at a campaign event tonight at the Yardhouse at The Legends Outlets. An earlier reservation for an election party at another restaurant in town had to be canceled because of the weather.
“The weather was bad for all of us,” Holland said about the weather’s effects on the election. “Nobody’s ever seen anything like this. Obviously we’ll all remember the 2013 blizzard. We all took a hit from it. I think all of our numbers were down. I don’t think it altered our percentages.”
The Holland campaign had a telephone message on Monday offering rides to the polls for voters.
The platform that he ran on is the community’s platform, he said, the issues that are supported by most of the community.
“I’m just humbled by this support, I’ve had a lot of people step forward to support me but the greatest is the support of the voters and I’m just honored to have that tonight,” Holland said.
Ann Murguia remarked tonight that “it’s good to be in the top two.”
“I am honored and humbled to be in the top two candidates. I’m excited and moving forward,” she said. “I’m excited to be part of the race.”
She said her issue that received the most support from voters was lowering property taxes.
It’s impossible to tell the weather’s effect on the primary election, except to know that it was difficult for people to get to the polls, she said, but there was no way for anyone to control that.
The Murguia campaign put messages at the regular polling place sites that were not used today to let voters know where the five consolidated locations were, she said, because there were a number of people who did not know. The polling place locations were changed on Monday because of the winter storm.
“There were a lot of people who were very frustrated, especially in the city, where people don’t have computers and access to good technology, of where to go to vote,” Murguia said. Her campaign also transported voters to the polls.
“I still think it’s a wide-open race, even with a two-to-one spread,” Murguia said. She recalled that when Joe Reardon ran for mayor the first time, his opponent won the primary, but Reardon won the general election.
While some candidates sent out last-minute get-out-the-vote telephone messages, candidate Janice Witt sent out a completely different sort of message on Monday.
She told voters to get to the election office on Monday by 7 p.m. to vote for her, or don’t go out to vote at all on Tuesday.
“If somebody would have gotten hurt going to the polls to try to vote for me, it would have broken my heart,” Witt said. “I wanted them to be safe.”
There should be some alternative plan in place if something such as a blizzard should happen, Witt said. Voters shouldn’t have to choose their voice over their safety, she said.
“The election bureau did the best they could in the circumstances they were put in, and I have no complaints about them,” Witt added.
She told her supporters to stay home on Tuesday, she said with a laugh, and they did.