Gary Soiseth, in a landslide election, won the race for Mayor of the City of Turlock ultimately taking 5,637 votes for a total of 59.90 percent, beating opponent Mike Brem over 20 points.
Soiseth, 30, is a third generation local farmer and Water Regulatory Analyst for the Modesto Irrigation District. He has also served as an instructor at California State University, Stanislaus and spent four years in Afghanistan for both the Department of Agriculture and Defense.
“We are ready to stop campaigning and start governing tomorrow,” Soiseth said.
Brem, 60, who was handpicked by current Mayor John Lazar to replace him, is the retired president of SupHerb Farms and has served for 14 years on the Turlock Planning Commission. Brem ultimately received 3,738 votes, for a total of 39.72 percent of the vote.
Announcing his candidacy in March, before any opponents, Soiseth explained his “100 Day Plan” for the beginning of his candidacy which includes a series of workshops with City government leaders, as well as Turlock Irrigation District, Westside Ministries, the Planning Commission, other local agencies and groups, and the public.
He promises open and candid discussions with Turlock’s staff, the public, press, and stakeholders. The first 100 days will be an opportunity to gain context and logic regarding past negotiations and decisions, in order to formulate a plan for the future of Turlock.
Soiseth has made it a priority throughout his campaign to emphasize transparency, and going forward, sees collaboration and full understanding of the issues, as keys to effective public policy.
“The polls came back and showed that the people of Turlock want honest, bold leadership and they heard my messages about water, roads and a balanced budget,” said Soiseth on his election.
He plans to forgo his Mayoral stipend and, instead, use the funds to create a public policy scholarship at California State University, Stanislaus.
Soiseth has been dedicated to running a “positive, issues-based campaign” despite multiple attacks from supporters of his opponent, reflected.
“I can be very proud of how we ran this campaign and that in itself is a win in my book”
He thanked his Campaign Manager, Josh Weimer.
“We talked constantly about every little detail. He was the heart and soul of this campaign. I just couldn’t have done it without him.”
Soiseth also thanked former Turlock Mayor Curt Andre for his political mentorship throughout the past 15 years since Soiseth was on the Teen Advisory Council.
“I just want to thank him for encouraging me to take the plunge,” said Soiseth of Andre’s encouragement.
Additionally, Soiseth thanked his volunteers, who he stated knocked on 12,000 doors, blanketed every home in Turlock with campaign material, and contributed hundreds of hours of work on behalf of his campaign.
Soiseth will be sworn in in December.
Gary Soiseth hugs his mother Lynette as election results rolled in on Tuesday night. 11-4-14