Johnson City village trustee Richard Balles says he's running for mayor, setting up a Republican primary challenge with incumbent Greg Deemie.

RICHARD BALLES (Photo provided by candidate)

Balles issued a news release announcing his candidacy Wednesday morning, five days after Deemie revealed he was seeking reelection.

In his statement, Balles said he is "very motivated and energized by the many residents" who have asked him to run.

Balles said Johnson City residents want tax relief. He said if elected, he would work to develop a four-year master road repair and infrastructure plan.

Balles also said he would work to control spending and keep future village budgets under the state tax cap.

Deemie was appointed mayor in April 2012 after Dennis Hannon quit. He was elected the following November to fill the final year of Hannon's term. In 2013, Deemie won a full four-year term by defeating Democrat Barrett Esworthy.

Deemie Wednesday afternoon reacted to the announcement by Balles, saying he is looking forward to the challenge. He said he plans to continue his emphasis on economic development and "moving the village in the right direction."

Primary elections this year will be held on September 13.

Johnson City Democrats have yet to announce a candidate for mayor.

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