CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Gayla Brumfield was elected mayor of Clovis Tuesday with 1,941 votes, which equals 36.61 percent of the votes cast during the municipal election. Brumfield said she was “excited and speechless, which is unusual for her.”
By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer
Longtime Realtor Gayla Brumfield closed her most recent deal Tuesday night — the next four years as mayor of Clovis.
In her second run for the position, Brumfield cruised to election to become the first woman mayor in the city’s history.
Receiving 36.6 percent of the 5,303 votes cast Tuesday, Brumfield will replace David Lansford, who decided to not seek re-election after 12 years in the position.
“I’m so happy and blessed to be the new mayor of Clovis,” Brumfield said between hugs with her family and friends at City Hall. “I’ll probably rest tomorrow, then I’ll be ready to go.”
Her closest opponents in the six-candidate field were retired Lockheed Martin program manager Rube Render (23.7 percent) and outgoing Curry County Commissioner Tim Ashley (16.9 percent).
Brumfield, who will be sworn in Monday after votes are canvassed Friday, thought Clovis voters chose her because of her issue-based campaign.
Brumfield’s five-point plan focused on economic development, quality of life, infrastructure needs, downtown revitalization and city services.
“I think people liked the issues,” Brumfield said. “We had so many forums that the public got to know the people.”
Ashley, term-limited as a county commissioner, was upbeat despite the loss because it would mean more time for family.
“Sure, it’s disappointing to lose,” Ashley said. “I’d be lying if I said anything different.
“It’s not the end of the world. Maybe in a way, it’s a relief because it takes a lot of time and a lot of effort.”
Render said he will support Brumfield and the City Commission the voters selected.
“It was a clean campaign, it was hard fought,” Render said. “I’m happy with the way I ran the campaign; just came up a little bit short.”
Brumfield won in absentee voting and in eight of the nine polling places. The only polling place she lost came at La Casita Elementary — ironically to Mario Martinez, who finished in sixth place.
Voter turnout was 33.6 percent.
Brumfield ran for mayor 12 years ago, losing to Lansford in the city’s first mayoral election. In previous years, the mayor was selected among city commissioners, by commissioners. She felt timing was a bigger factor in her victory than any changes she’d made in campaigning.
Lansford, in his final week as mayor, expressed satisfaction with the outcome.
“I’m as confident as I can be in the leadership of our community,” Lansford said, “and feel like the community will continue to move forward and meet the needs of its citizens.”