Grand Island will have a new mayor, but who it is won’t be decided until the general election in November.
Current Mayor Jay Vavricek, City Council President Chuck Haase, and financial advisor and Grand Island Senior High Boys soccer coach Jeremy Jensen were all running for the position, but only the two with the most votes advance from the primary.
The unofficial results from the Hall County Election Commissioner are:
Jeremy Jensen – 2,817 Chuck Haase – 2,588 Jay Vavricek – 1,061
Total Votes: 6,482 (counting 16 write-ins)
Jensen, a self-proclaimed newcomer to politics, says he shied away from what he calls traditional campaign methods like yard signs. He says he sees it as less of a campaign and more of a job interview.
“I think there just needs to be a refreshing new change in politics in general, but also here in our town, and I think that I’m the only candidate that can really truly hit the reset button and come in with a completely blank slate,” says Jensen.
Haase, who served as the city’s finance director for six years, says he believes he is the candidate who will raise taxes the least. He’s midway through his second term on the City Council.
“I think the first hundred days you need to analyze everything and get the right people in place and get the team together that’s going to move through the next four years, but then it’s a matter of just getting the council involved and I think getting the community going,” says Haase.
Vavricek could not be reached for comment Tuesday night. His Twitter account (@JayVavricek) posted “Thanks again to everyone who’s been involved with the campaign. Didn’t go as I hoped, but it was a great team effort. #thankyou.”
Vavricek served a term previously, but the past four years have been filled with controversy. A recall attempt against Vavricek failed, and was spurred on by frustration with the city administrator. Both Jensen and Haase have said they would bring in a new city administrator.
Stay with NTV, we will work to have reaction from him on Wednesday.