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May 29, 2023

Dion Bracco to run for mayor in November

Seat will be vacated by Roland Velasco

Longtime Gilroy City Councilmember Dion Bracco announced his candidacy for mayor on May 21.

Bracco is the first to declare his run for the mayor’s seat that will be vacated by Roland Velasco, who announced in January that he would not be seeking re-election in November.

In a statement, Bracco pledged to launch the “Great Gilroy Comeback” in the aftermath of the Covid-19 outbreak, which has severely impacted the city’s revenue due to a drastic decline in sales tax and other funding sources.

First elected to the council in 2005 and re-elected in 2010, 2014 and 2018, Bracco is the CEO of Bracco’s Towing and Transport, Inc. His current term on the council expires in 2022.

He pointed to his efforts to stabilize Gilroy’s finances in the midst of the Great Recession in 2008-09, saying we “can do it again.” Bracco said the crisis today is “even more challenging because our entire economy was essentially closed down for months, making it very difficult for many businesses to ever come back.”

 He noted the city will need to make “hard decisions” about cutting administrative costs and “bureaucracy” to balance the budget while embarking on an “aggressive and focused plan to generate new revenue” through relaxing fees and regulations on new and existing businesses.

“We need to re-incentivize the private sector to create jobs here and make Gilroy the most attractive place to invest in all of Santa Clara County,” he said.

Bracco also called for “new and innovative” housing options for younger workers, making Gilroy affordable for “future generations to live, work and raise their families.” At the same time, he said maintaining a “superior level” of public safety services to the community remains his “number one priority as the most essential responsibility of government.”

The nomination period for candidates to declare their intentions for the Nov. 3 election opens July 13 and runs through Aug. 7. For information, visit tinyurl.com/u83vdru.

Erik Chalhoub
Erik Chalhoub joined Weeklys as an editor in 2019. Prior to his current position, Chalhoub worked at The Pajaronian in Watsonville for seven years, serving as managing editor from 2014-2019.

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