Pulido, Vazquez Spar in Contentious Mayoral Debate

Ben vs Miguel
Community activist and high school teacher Ben Vazquez (left) is challenging Mayor Miguel Pulido for his seat in the November election.

Santa Ana’s mayor and his top challenger clashed in a battle of ideas Wednesday night, during a debate that showcased their sharply different visions for the city.

Asked what the main differences are between them, Vazquez replied: “I think I want to be mayor for Santa Ana, and Mr. Pulido wants to be mayor for Mr. Pulido….I want to listen to the people who may not contribute to my campaign.”

Pulido responded that he doesn’t really know Vazquez, but “I think the difference is talking and doing…I’m a doer.” He then cited his accomplishments with the Discovery Science Center, Bower’s Museum, Orange County High School of the Arts, and the downtown Artists Village.

Vazquez criticized what he described as the neglect of poorer central neighborhoods under Pulido’s leadership, where potholes go unfilled for years while they get fixed “right away” in wealthier areas of the city.

“We need to make sure people feel safe in every neighborhood, not just where Mr. Pulido lives,” Vazquez said, referring to the mayor’s home in what is considered the Santa Ana’s wealthiest neighborhood, Floral Park.

Read full story on Voice of OC

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