Former three term 2nd Ward councilman Aslon Goow announced on Thursday night he is running in the May municipal elections to retake his old seat.
“Like so many of my neighbors, I have seen the decline of our ward over the past four years,” said Goow. “We had made so much progress beforehand, when the 2nd Ward was the cleanest and safest in the City. Today, that is not the case.”
Goow cited increases in property taxes and crime. The former councilman’s announcement comes as mayor Jose “Joey” Torres’ administration is seeking to impose a six-percent tax increase on homeowners. “It’s unacceptable,” he said.
The former councilman joins what is likely to be somewhat of a crowded field once the candidates have been certified to take part in the May municipal elections.
So far incumbent Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman, Eddie Gonzalez, Shahin Khalique, Kenneth McDaniel, and Jessica Campagna have expressed an interest in running in the ward.
Kevin Womble, who picked up petitions, but decided to drop out to support former at-large councilman McDaniel.
Goow served the 2nd Ward from 2000 until he was ousted by Akhtaruzzaman in 2012. The former councilman challenged the May 2012 loss in court and successfully nullified the incumbent’s victory.
A special election was held in November 2012. Goow came in third in that election with 1,332 votes, according to election records. Sonia Torres, the mayor’s wife, came in second with 1,423 votes. Akhtaruzzaman won with 1,459 votes.
Goow over the years has built up a solid base in the 2nd Ward. His loyal following includes about 650 nearly guaranteed votes. The former councilman will need to build on his base if he is to reclaim his seat, according to political strategists.
“I am excited, as are the many supportive people who have reached out to me urging me to run, for the possibilities that lie ahead,” said Goow. “2nd Ward residents deserve tried and true experience and accountability in their elected officials, and those qualities are sorely missing now.”