"Onward and Upward" Vavricek Says, Running for Re-Election - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

"Onward and Upward" Vavricek Says, Running for Re-Election

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Jay Vavricek pledges to move "onward and upward", as he announces he will seek a third term as mayor of Grand Island.

Vavricek intends to file for office on Thursday. He was first elected in 2002, but chose to run for Congress in 2006. He was elected mayor for a second time in 2010, after Margaret Hornady held the office for four years.

Vavricek cited a long list of accomplishments in his campaign announcement, increasing the city's cash reserve and putting more police on the streets. In addition, Hall County has added 1,627 new jobs and $92 million more in wages paid during his current term.

"Over the last four years Grand Island and its residents have much to be proud of. Despite our challenges – we faced them with courage, faith, forgiveness and a willingness to work together," he said.

Relocation of the Veterans Home is an issue he said he will continue to work on.

He said, "Difficult situations tend to test our ability to move forward. That is why we have not given up on our Veterans or the place they have called home for the last 126 years.  As mayor, I will not let these challenges define us but instead have taken them as an opportunity to learn, grow and build on for the future. There is no doubt any setbacks we have experienced have been far outweighed by our accomplishments."

But it has also been a tumultuous four year term. Vavricek was reprimanded by the city council the form of a censure, and the target of a recall campaign that failed to get enough signatures.

He was also picked up for driving under the influence. He entered a no contest plea for reckless driving in the case.

For his part, Vavricek said he is moving "onward and upward."

He said, "Grand Island is stronger, bolder and wiser than we were four years ago. Our experiences have made us better, but there is unfinished business of perfecting our community and building a better Grand Island. Starting today, we can finish the work that needs to be done."

NTV News will have more reaction from Vavricek tonight.

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