Less than 24 hours after Turlock Mayor John Lazar announced he will not seek reelection this November, Ed Brault, a retired teacher, has formally submitted paperwork to run for mayor.
Brault is currently the lone challenger to front-runner Gary Soiseth, a local farmer, Modesto Irrigation District employee, and former California State University, Stanislaus instructor.
Brault, 85, said he has entered the race simply for the sake of democracy.
“I do not plan to campaign,” Brault said. “I do not plan to raise or accept funds from anyone. I do not plan to make any promises. I am running simply because I think voters should have a choice. If Mr. Soiseth runs unopposed, he will win by default, and that doesn’t seem quite right in a democracy. I do not expect any political backing from Turlock’s power structure.”
Brault retired 27 years ago from his post teaching at Turlock High School. He went on to teach English as a Second Language at the Turlock Adult School for 10 years after his retirement.
Brault was originally born in New England, but has lived in Turlock for more than 50 years. He wrote weekly columns for the Turlock Journal for roughly three years, before the series ended due to a dispute with Journal leadership in 2008.
“Frankly, I have no special qualifications to be Mayor except that I am uncompromisingly honest,” Brault said. “I do not expect to win the election, and Mr. Soiseth sounds like he has a useful background for the job. I am sorry Mr. Lazar has chosen not to run. Other than his decision to place speed bumps on Tuolumne and Minnesota streets, he was an excellent mayor.”
When asked for comment about Brault entering the race, Soiseth said he remains focused on Turlock, not potential competitors.
“I realize there could be one competitor or ten,” Soiseth said. “I did not look at the field of potential candidates when I made my decision to run for mayor. I am confident I have the skills to bring real solutions to our longstanding challenges of water reliability, road repair, and redevelopment efforts."