Meet the Wapato mayoral candidates
WAPATO, Wash. - Juan Orozco and Hector Garza are running for Mayor of Wapato.
The position is a two-year term instead of a usual four-year term because of the remaining two-years of former Mayor Jesse Farias' unexpired term.
Farias retired in March 2016 and current Mayor Tony Guzman was elected by council to replace him until an election could be held.
During the primary race in August, Orozco and Garza beat out Guzman to race against each other for the upcoming general election in November.
Orozco is a former city councilman and community organizer and he said he wants to bring new businesses to Wapato.
“I would like to see a Safeway store that would produce a good 50, 60 jobs in a big Safeway store," he said. "And also give local people an opportunity to have a choice in where they purchase their goods."
Garza is a high school teacher and pastor and said, he hopes to revitalize the downtown area.
"Bring people from outside in and we just want to bring them to spend their money here and maybe bring in some retail, some more restaurants, something that the people can just be happy to come to Wapato and spend some time in this place," he said.
Garza also said the city's budget is a major problem and he wants to work with council to bring in more money to fix it.
Orozco said he wants lower water and sewer taxes. He said he wants to get Wapato back to the way it used to be.
"I'm willing to give two more years of my life to help bring back the city I was raised in," Orozco said. "That's why I run, I love Wapato, it's our town, I was raised in, I'm very proud to be from here."
While Garza said he just wants to serve his community.
"I believe in in the people of Wapato and they are very positive and people that just put their whole hearts into everything,” Garza said. "And I just want to be a leader. I am a leader of the community and I want to be a part of the good things that are happening."
Unlike Yakima, the city of Wapato has a strong-mayor form of government which means the mayor oversees daily operations of the city instead of a city manager.
If you want to help elect the new Wapato mayor be sure to send in your ballot by November 7.