Two announce candidacy for mayor

By Tonya Fennell and Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writers

Two more Clovis residents have indicated they will run for the mayor’s seat up for election in March.

Former City Commissioner Gloria Wicker and Curry County Republican Party Chairman Rube Render announced their candidacies for mayor on Thursday.

Clovis residents urged her to seek the position, Wicker said.

“I was out shopping (Thursday) and people came up to me about it,” Wicker said, “and I’ve gotten many phone calls.”

Render said the city will need someone who understands the military to move the city forward as the base adjusts to its new mission.

“The city and the base are going to be closely linked in the next few years,” he said. “It will be a big help to have someone with a military background lead the city.”

Curry County Commissioner Tim Ashley has also announced plans to run for mayor. David Lansford has said he will not be seeking a fourth term as mayor.

“He’s been mayor for 12 years, that’s an extremely long time to ask someone to serve,” Render said. “He’s always done what he believes is best for Clovis. He needs to be commended for what he has accomplished for Clovis.”

Wicker, a former railroad worker, is no stranger to campaigning. In the last decade, she has run for five offices. She won a City Commission seat in 2000. In 2006, Wicker was defeated in runs for probate judge and city commissioner.

She serves on the High Plains Junior Rodeo Council and the governor’s appointed New Mexico Rodeo Council.

Wicker said her prior experience in city government makes her an ideal candidate. “I’ve been in public affairs since 1985,” she said.

Render said he has not served any elected office, but believes he has the qualification to the job.

He served in the Marines for 20 years and for 10 years he worked on “high-technology” defense contracts with the Air Force.

“I feel that I have the education, the experience, and the qualifications to do that job very well,” said Render who moved to Clovis six years ago from northern California.

Wicker said if she is elected she would fight to have a committee appointed to “clean up the four entrances into Clovis.”

Hotel Clovis is another issue Wicker would like to tackle if elected. “I want to put it back the way it was,” she said. “I don’t want it turned into a flop house.

Wicker agreed Lansford would be a hard act to follow. “I don’t know if anyone is more articulate than him (Lansford),” she said.

City Clerk LeighAnn Melancon said commissioner and mayoral candidates must file on Jan. 8 their intention to run in the municipal election.

The mayor’s seat and four commissioner positions are up for election in March.

The position of mayor pays $8,000 a year.

City positions up for election in the March 4 municipal elections:
City Commissioner District 1 (Randy Crowder)
City Commissioner District 2 (Fred Van Soelen)
City Commissioner District 3 (Robert Sandoval)
City Commissioner District 4 (Lunell Winton)