Three vying for mayor position

CNJ staff photo: Kevin Wilson Rick Tenorio, right, signs paperwork to run for the mayor’s position as City Clerk LeighAnn Melancon, sitting, gives election details and Deputy Clerk Joanne King waits to notarize his paperwork Tuesday at City Hall. Tuesday was the only day to file for the mayor’s and city commission races.

Kevin Wilson

The Clovis mayoral field for the March 6 municipal election includes the current mayor, the previous mayor and a Clovis native hoping to become the city’s third mayor elected by the citizens.

Rick Tenorio, 45, a security officer with TW and Company, signed up to run for mayor at 4:45 p.m., just 15 minutes prior to the 5 p.m. deadline.

In total, 10 candidates filed for five races — the mayor’s race and one commission race in each of the city’s four districts.

He joined current mayor Gayla Brumfield, a Clovis Realtor, and David Lansford, a pharmacist who served three terms before deciding not to run for a fourth term in 2008, on the ballot.

“I feel there are some changes that could still be made,” said Tenorio, a 1984 graduate of Clovis High School. “I’d like to be given the opportunity for it.”

Tenorio said in his job, he has many conversations with personnel at Cannon Air Force Base, and hopes he can bring that perspective to the race.

Brumfield, who won a six-person race in 2008, said she ran on a five-point plan four years ago — economic development, infrastructure, public safety, quality of life and more responsive government service.

“I ran on five things, and we’ve done it,” Brumfield said. “My (campaign) slogan is ‘Promises made, promises kept.’ I love this community, and I want to finish what I’ve started.”

Brumfield has said she will not run for a third term if re-elected.

Lansford, a big part of the push to get the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System federally authorized, said the pipeline project is key, along with making sure the city gives its citizens adequate public safety, infrastructure and utility services.

“I think the No. 1 priority has been, and will probably be for several years, the development of a sustainable water supply,” Lansford said. “I think it’s an evaluation that involves a lot of different parties. You’ve got several different interests that are paying close attention to the process. I think it’s a complex and expensive undertaking that, quite honestly, is going to be with us for a good long while.”

Brumfield and Lansford are the only mayors elected by the voters. Prior to 1996, when Lansford won the first at-large mayoral election, residents ran for commission seats and the mayor’s position was elected from within the commission.

The following races will also be on the March 6 ballot:

• City Commission, District 1. Randal Crowder, a self-employed general contractor, is the incumbent. Janice Elliott, executive director of Eastern New Mexico Emergency Medical Services Corporation, is also running for the position.

• City Commission, District 2. Fred Van Soelen, an attorney, has decided not to seek a third term. John Jones, a retired postal employee, and Sandra Taylor-Sawyer, director of the Small Business Development Center at Clovis Community College and an independent associate for a legal services firm, are running for the position.

• City Commission, District 3. Robert Sandoval, a retired postal employee, is the incumbent and is running unopposed.

• City Commission, District 4. Chris Bryant, a restaurant owner, is the incumbent. Challenging him is R.L. “Rube” Render, a retired project manager with Lockheed Martin and a retired gunnery sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Commissioners receive a $7,000 annual stipend, while the mayor’s annual stipend is $8,000.

A ballot question on adding a new section to the city charter to essentially ban dual service on the Clovis City and Curry County commissions will also be put to voters.

Section 2-6 of the charter, if approved by voters, would read, “No elected officer of the City shall be an elected officer of any county of the state of New Mexico while in office, except a person who on March 15, 2012, is both an elected officer of the city and an elected officer of a county of the state of New Mexico, may complete the existing term of county office.”

Candidates will draw for ballot position at 5:01 p.m. Wednesday. Absentee voting begins Jan. 31, early voting begins Feb. 15 and both end March 2. Anybody who wishes to vote in the municipal election must be registered to vote by Feb. 7.