Sollars write-in campaign falls short
By ZEINAB NAJM
Sunday Times Newspapers
TAYLOR — State Rep. Alex Garza and City Council Chairman Tim Woolley fended off a write-in campaign by indicted Mayor Rick Sollars in the Aug. 3 mayoral primary election to advance to the Nov. 2 general election.
Of the three mayoral candidates on the mayoral primary ballot, Garza (D-12th District), with 2,793 votes (35.5 percent), and Woolley, with 1,738 votes (22.1 percent) were the top two vote getters with 2,793 and 1,738, respectively. Jeff Jones finished third with 1,713 votes (21.8 percent. Sollars received 20.7 percent of the vote. Write-in ballots totaled 1,633 in the race.
The winner of the mayoral race in November will serve a four-year-term beginning in 2022.
Sollars will be able to run as a write-in candidate in the general election.
Garza thanked his supporters who helped with his campaign following the election.
“I am humbled by the support I’ve received and I feel so hopeful about Taylor’s future,” he wrote on Facebook. “Thank you to Rick Sollars and Jeff Jones for their campaigns and hard work for a hotly contested primary. I also want to congratulate Tim Woolley for his advancement to the general election.”
Woolley also went to social media to thank the voters and congratulate his November opponent.
“I’d like to thank each and every one of you for your vote today at the polls and throughout the entire absentee process,” he wrote in his Facebook message. “We made it through the primary election and now we hit the ground running.
“I’d like to congratulate Alex Garza on moving onto the general election. Also, thank you to the Sollars camp and the Jones camp for participating in the most competitive mayoral election that I’ve seen.”
Jones kept his message on Facebook short, saying, “Sincere thanks for so many efforts.”
Sollars said that is has been an honor to serve as mayor of over the past eight years. He thanked his wife and children for dealing with the schedule and work load.
“Thank you to all of the friends we have made along the way for your friendship and support,” he wrote on Facebook the day after the election. “Yesterday was an extremely difficult day for my entire family to accept but we want nothing more than to see the city of Taylor continue to prosper and stand prepared to make sure we do whatever it takes to assist in a smooth transition.
“Congratulations to all of the candidates that successfully moved through the primary election on to the general election. It will take some time to adjust to no longer serving as your mayor but I will always love the city of Taylor and the residents that call it home.”
In the city council race, 16 candidates were on the ballot, with three incumbents ruled ineligible for the ballot conducting write-in candidates. Because 2,784 write-in votes were cast, City Clerk Cynthia Bower said her office has up to 14 days to sort out the ballots.
The top 14 vote getters will advance to the Nov. 2 general election, where the top seven will win four-year terms on the council.
As of Aug. 4, unofficial vote totals release by Wayne County Clerk’s Office had Douglas Geiss with 3,468 votes, incumbent Angie Winton with 3,411, incumbent Herman Ramik with 2,940, with Jill Brandana 2,718, Lindsey Rose with 2,556, Amy Atwood with 2,475, Justin Mordarski with 2,307, Asha Tyson with 2,256, Tina Daniels with 2,246, Ira Slaven with 2,215, Nick Dmitruchina with 1,689, Chrissy Masters Carmona with 1,623, Chris Verdun with 1,536, Sam Ditzhazy with 1,483, Korey Morris with 1,465 and Martin Drouillard with 1,437 votes.
Incumbents Daniel Bzura, Charley Johnson and Caroline Patts filed write-in declarations of intent for the primary.
Of the 47,698 registered voters in Taylor, 7,965 cast their ballots, resulting in a 16.70 percent voter turnout.
To view the election results go to www.waynecounty.com/elected/clerk/election-results.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected].)