Joe Azar has run for mayor of Columbia a lot of times.
He doesn’t know how many. (“You in the media know better than I do,” he says. “Everyone tells me how many times I’ve run; I say the past is the past. I’m not trying to win some kind of ‘Who’s run the most’ lottery.)
Free Times couldn’t figure out how many times he’s run, either, but we did dig up a city election preview from our April 1, 1998 issue in which we described him as a perennial candidate.
This year, though, Azar has decided not to run. He says he has other things to do. He’s been elected president of the Columbia Sertoma Club, he says, and business at Upstairs Audio is going well.
He’s not going to endorse someone for mayor — not exactly.
“I am unendorsing [Steve] Benjamin,” he says. “I am Anybody But Benjamin. ABB.”
He says he’s willing to help out both Larry Sypolt and Moe Baddourah, Benjamin’s two opponents.
The City of Columbia has posted election results back to 2002 online — and in 2002, we found, Azar drew 14 percent of the mayoral vote, with Mayor Bob Coble drawing 82 percent and William Gidwell drawing 4 percent. Azar's numbers plummeted in 2006 and 2010, though, as the mayoral field grew.
In 2012 Azar challenged Cameron Runyan and Robert Bolchoz in the at-large city council race, garnering 8 percent of the vote.
Now Hiring in the Vista!
Hickory Tavern is opening mid-December and looking for bartenders, servers, hosts and kitchen staff. Apply in person: Click for details!
Make Your Own Beer and Wine!
Come get started on your “liquid hobby” and help us celebrate our 46th year in the Columbia area. Bet Mar Liquid Hobby Shop: 736 St. Andrews Road.
Relaxation, Pain Management, and Stress Relief
Licensed massage therapist Allison Morris of AMR Massage offers 50% off your first session and every 5th session free of charge. Click here for location, hours, and more information.
This Week @ Social
Edward Shouse performs Friday the 21st, and on Saturday Absolut Vodka presents A Night in Sweden, with specialty Absolut drinks and live music by Christian Slick. Follow us!
A Re-Imagined Christmas Carol at Trustus
Watch as five actors perform all the characters of Charles Dickens’ classic story and create a live musical score in a production that had audiences and critics raving last year. Get your tickets here!
Surreal Innovation Salon Now Open
Columbia’s newest total care spa is now taking appointments and offering $10 off services $25 or more for first time clients. Location, hours, and more info here.
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Holiday Wish ListWhere to shop for gift ideas in Columbia this season: