By Jenna DeWitt: CNJ staff writer
Longtime Clovis City Commissioner Isidro Garcia called it quits while a dozen candidates jumped into the spring city election Tuesday by meeting the 5 p.m. deadline to file.
The only uncontested election is District 2, with incumbent Len A. Vohs, sales manager for Rooney Moon Broadcasting, returning for his second term.
“I was born and raised in Clovis. If I didn’t live here, I would move here,” Vohs said.
District 3 incumbent Garcia announced he would not be seeking a seventh term.
Garcia said while he is grateful for voter’s support, he just celebrated his 80th birthday and looks forward to retirement.
“I think I could have been elected again if had wanted, but it is time to retire,” said Garcia. “I will keep my eyes open and help in any way I can.”
Garcia said he encourages new commissioners to “try to do the best they can and make people understand why we can’t always do what they think should be done.”
Doing the best he can is exactly what Leo Leal, candidate for the vacant District 3 position, said he aims to do. Leal, recently retired from Cargill Meat Solutions, said he is running because he wants to do something for the community.
“The way the economy is, I want to save all the money we can for the taxpayers,” he said.
Juan Garza, the District 1 incumbent, said he will be running again with eight years of experience in the position. The Juanitos restaurant owner said he “feels like the community is moving in the right direction.”
“It’s not a one person job. It takes the whole commission to get things done,” he said.
Randy Lee Rodriguez, one of four candidates in District 4, said he presents a younger perspective.
“We need to get out with the old and in with the new,” he said. “We need to change, add new things, make our city beautiful and add more activities for the youth.”
Rodriguez said his employer, Russell Muffley of Muffley Funeral Home, encouraged him to run for the position.
“He was a municipal judge for 18 years. He gave me the elbow,” Rodriguez said.
Also inspired by past judges, Steven L. Garcia is running for one municipal judge position.
“I know we have had some good people. I hope to be fair and honest and follow in their footsteps. I think they have done a good job and I want to continue that good job,” he said.
He said he has thought about running for the position in the past and now feels he is ready.
“I’ve been with the fire department for 23 years. I love public service.”
Bonnie Bryant, also running for municipal judge, said she has been interested in serving the community as a judge since her retirement from insurance claims management.
“I was born and raised in this community,” Bryant said. “I think that I make sound decisions and am open-minded. I know that there are always two sides to every story and will work hard if elected.”
Elections will be held March 2.
The following candidates filed for the Clovis City Commission and municipal judge elections. Tuesday was the only day to file for the March 2 election.
• Brenda R. Miller
• Juan F. Garza Sr. (I)
• Len A. Vohs (I)
• Fidel M. Madrid
• Leo Leal
• Daniel J. Stoddard
• Furgus Tunnell
• Randy Lee Rodriguez
• Jarod B. Wilhite
• Jan M. Garrett (I)
• Bonnie Bryant
• Steven L. Garcia
(I) — Incumbent