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Alton incumbents win in landslide election

Mayor Salvador Vela and Mayor Pro Tem Arturo Galvan easily topped their challengers in Saturday’s election.

At a swearing in ceremony Tuesday evening, Vela said he was thankful to his wife for pushing him, and he has a passion for service.

20150512 ALTON Swearing in 3843“And that’s what the other side can’t understand is the passion to run,” Vela said. “It’s a God-given passion, and if you don’t have that, you have no business in the service of the community just because you say one day, ‘I want to run for mayor.’ That’s why those people don’t succeed.”

For his part, Galvan said he was thankful to God and grateful for four more years in office.

Both received about 77 percent of the votes, with Vela defeating his opponent, Baldemar Flores, with 628 of the 815 votes cast, and his nephew Galvan receiving 626 of the ballots cast in a race against Jose Picasso.

Vela and Galvan have run as a team since first being elected into office 25 years ago. In that time Vela said he’s seen the city grow from around 2,000 residents to about 15,000, and the budget has increased from about $200,000 to $3.1 million.

Now, Vela said, the city finished its latest sewer expansion and is working to improve its roads and increase lighting. He emphasized that several franchises, like the Dollar Store, O’Reilly’s, Domino’s and Golden Chick, have set up shop in the burgeoning community.

“We just want to keep the people happy,” he said. “The city’s really growing right now.”

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