Armstrong, Polasek heading to runoff election

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

May 11, 2013 at 12:11 a.m.
Updated May 12, 2013 at 12:12 a.m.

The race for Victoria's top elected official isn't final yet.

Incumbent Mayor Will Armstrong and Councilman Paul Polasek will face off yet again in a runoff slated for June 8 or 15.

The votes differed by a thin margin.

Armstrong, who has served as mayor since 2004, said this would be his last time to run for office.

"I'm very pleased with the results on all the races except mine," Armstrong said. "I thought I would be a little ahead, and I'm a little behind, but it's not over yet."

The council will meet in special session at 5 p.m. Tuesday to set the runoff date and canvass the votes.

After serving together on the council the past seven years, Armstrong and Polasek ran a tight race, rarely disagreeing on their key issues.

Polasek, who served his last term as mayor pro-tem, said he wants to take on more leadership roles in the council.

From a celebration party at the 77901 Wine Bar in downtown Victoria, Polasek said he is pleased with the results.

"I really appreciate everyone who has supported me this far," Polasek said. "I'm looking forward to the runoff, and hopefully, they'll be back in three weeks to support me again."

League of Women Voters Victoria President Kathy Hunt said the league is considering hosting another voter education forum for the runoff candidates.

"I'm not surprised we have a runoff in the mayoral race," she said. "When you have a lot of candidates - that tends to split the votes."

Armstrong and Polasek must now focus on what sets them apart.

Polasek said he has a different style of communication than the current mayor.

"I feel I'm a bit more conservative in some areas than he is," Polasek said. "There's not a great deal of difference."

If he loses the runoff, he loses his seat on council. He gave up his position on District 3 to run for mayor.

Armstrong said the only disagreement he can recall was whether to apply for a grant for solar energy. Armstrong voted against applying for the funds.

Polasek's campaign focused on rebuilding community trust and improving communication and transparency.

"My style of communicating with council members and the public is very conducive, and I feel I can do a good job with that," he said. "I just need to communicate to the voters that I'm more than willing and more than ready to serve and try to encourage a good turnout for the runoff."

Armstrong said he is going to start building his runoff election plan Sunday morning.

Other candidates in the race included Richard Deases, 22, whose campaign focused on debt; Henry Perez, 76, whose campaign focused on stopping the new wastewater treatment plant; and Omar Rachid, 52, who ran an aggressive campaign to improve the police department.

Rachid's campaign largely highlighted his community service record. He said he would continue his involvement with nonprofits and other organizations.

Deases, who attempted his first run for office, said he is considering jumping into more political arenas.

"We'll see what happens in the next three years," he said.

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