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Armstrong to withdraw from mayoral race

By Melissa Crowe
May 13, 2013 at 12:13 a.m.
Updated May 14, 2013 at 12:14 a.m.


After three terms as mayor, Will Armstrong withdrew his candidacy Monday for re-election.

He made the announcement Monday afternoon, after speaking with his supporters and his opponent, Councilman Paul Polasek.

"Traditionally, early returns are pretty realistic barometers," he said, adding that the city is in good hands with Polasek.

Armstrong and Polasek came out on top in Saturday's five-person race for mayor. Polasek took 1,951 votes to Armstrong's 1,617. Because no candidate received 51 percent of the vote, a runoff was planned for June.

However, Armstrong said spending time and money on another mayoral election is not prudent.

City Secretary Scarlet Swobody said in the 17 years she has been with the city, she has not seen a candidate withdraw at this point in the race.

In a prepared statement, Armstrong said his decision "is about what's best for Victoria."

"What I'm most proud of is being a part of a rather large team that's been very progressive," Armstrong said. "No one person stands alone. Paul is part of that team. He'll be the one with the gavel now."

According to the Texas Election Code, when a runoff candidate withdraws, the remaining candidate is considered to be elected and the runoff election for that race is not held.

Polasek is expected to take the oath of office at the special council meeting 5 p.m. Tuesday.

"It's Will's decision," Polasek said. "I don't have a problem with it. Either way, I'm ready to get to work."

He said the announcement is still "sinking in."

"As mayor, Will has done a lot of wonderful things for the community that I hope everyone appreciates," Polasek said.

During Armstrong's nine years as mayor, the city has opened new parks, improved neighborhoods, grown the economy, revitalized downtown, expanded Victoria's arts and culture, partnered with Victoria College to assist in their jobs training center, built up the visitors bureau and brought in new businesses, hotels and restaurants.

"I'm proud to have helped lead a team that dreamed big for Victoria," Armstrong said in a prepared statement.

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