‘Swing Vote’ movie airs Friday

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

The movie “Swing Vote,” a movie about a loveable loser named Bud Johnson in a fictitious Texico, New Mexico, who ends up being the deciding voter in the presidential election, is scheduled for release Friday.

In the PG-13 movie, politicians invade the town and its unwitting inhabitants, waging war for Johnson’s vote.

The movie was not filmed in Texico. Filmmakers just like the name of the town for the setting. Movie directors did borrow patches for police officer uniforms and photos of their police cars.

Texico’s mayor and city council gave the filmmakers permission to use the town name. Mayor Jerry Cunningham was invited to the filming in Belen.

“They made a street up in Belen that looked like what they thought Texico looked like,” Cunningham said. “But I don’t think any of them knew where Texico was.”

Cunningham said he met Kevin Costner, who portrays Bud Johnson in the film. He also met the director Joshua Michael Stern.

Nicole Harris, 20, has lived in Texico for eight years. She said she wished they would have at least come to see the town.

“If they used our name, they should have come and seen how the town was. Especially since they’re focusing on a nobody in a nobody town,” Harris said. “It’ll look like there’s nothing to do in a little town.”

Texico City Clerk Carolyn Johnson said she hadn’t heard of any concerns with the movie depicting Texico in a negative way.

“It’s just fiction,” Johnson said.

Heidi Mayfield from the film’s production office said in January the writers were looking at a map of New Mexico for small towns to serve as the hometown of Costner’s character when they spotted Texico. She also said writer/director Joshua Michael Stern liked the name.

“It was pretty random, because I remember if we couldn’t get it cleared, we’d go with something else,” Mayfield said.

The movie, which will be showing at the North Plains Cinema 7 and the Tower Theater in Portales, also includes Dennis Hopper, Kelsey Grammer, George Lopez, Willie Nelson and Richard Petty, according to www.imdb.com.