Turlock Mayor John Lazar announced Monday he will not seek re-election this November due to family and business obligations.
Lazar, 55, has served two terms as Mayor of Turlock and as a member of the Turlock City Council for 14 years.
“For 22 years I have worked hard to make out city a better place. My eight years as mayor will be cherished,” he wrote in a statement to Turlockcitynews.com. “Being Turlock"s Mayor is a full-time job. But I have another job also, and, as a husband and father, even more important obligations. It is now time for me to focus more on my family and my job. I love Turlock, and will always support our city, but for a few years I need to spend less time on city issues, and more on family and business.”
Lazar says the time as mayor was marked by accomplishments, such as the Carnegie Arts Center, the Blue Diamond Plant, the Public Safety Center and “continued first rate city services for Turlock residents.”
With Lazar out of the race for mayor that leaves Gary Soiseth, a third generation family farmer and almond grower, as the only confirmed candidate in the race at this time.
Soiseth issued a brief statement via Facebook.
"I wish John well and congratulate him on over two decades of service to our city. This race is about the future of Turlock, and I believe I have a clear and bold vision for our community. I look forward to running a strong campaign and having a healthy debate on the issues."
Lazar thanked his family, friends and supporters for their loyalty.
“It has been a privileged serving the citizens of Turlock. Current city obligations on a daily basis occupy a great portion of my day,” Lazar wrote. “At the forefront of these are discussions on an initiative to fix Turlock's aging streets, the presentation of a citywide district election system, and on-going consideration of a regional water plan. I will see these through for the year…. but will not file for re-election this August.”
Gary Soiseth to Run for Turlock Mayor