Garza, Madrid, Stoddard win commission seats

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks From left to right, Claire Burroughes, Clovis community director, Joanne King, election deputy clerk, Joe Thomas, city manager, watch as city clerk Leighann Melancon tallies ballots Tuesday night at city hall.

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

Voters returned two incumbents, and added another Curry County commissioner to the ranks of the Clovis City Commission.

Dan Stoddard won a three-way race in Tuesday’s municipal election for the District 4 seat, vacated by former Clovis Fire Chief Ron Edwards.

Other winners were Juan Garza in District 1, Len Vohs in District 2 and Fidel Madrid in District 3.

Stoddard, who was elected to the county commission in 2008, took the race with 264 votes, easily besting Randy Rodriguez (153) and Furgus Tunnell (121).

“I’m excited about the result and I’m looking forward to what’s ahead,” Stoddard said.

Stoddard, who joins Bobby Sandoval as a member of the city and county commissions, said he thought the city was doing a good job and would not have run had Edwards decided to seek another four-year term.

“People were telling me to step up and I was happy to do it,” Stoddard said. “I want to thank my family for helping me so I had the time to do this.”

Madrid was the winner in Tuesday’s closest race, edging Leo Leal by a 179-151 count in District 3.

“It was kind of close,” said Madrid, a retired parcel deliverer. “I thought we were pretty even … Leo ran a good race.

Madrid replaces Isidro Garcia, who decided to not run for re-election.

“I’d like to see some more jobs,” Madrid said, “and I’d like to see something for the kids, but I don’t know what (at this point).”

Incumbents cruised to victories.

Vohs, running unopposed in District 2, picked up 357 votes, and Garza had 549 votes to defeat Brenda Miller (360) in District 1.

Garza was disappointed with the 15 percent voter turnout — 2,276 ballots cast out of 15,189 registered voters — but was happy with the voters’ confidence.

“Infrastructure’s always going to be the biggest challenge,” Garza said. “The state has got problems of their own, and that’s always a problem for us.”