Vohs, Edwards win seats

Len Vohs, left, talks with Clovis Mayor David Lansford on Tuesday at City Hall after Vohs won a seat on the Clovis City Commission. Vohs defeated Gloria Wicker for the District 2 seat. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth)

By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer

Just a sliver of registered city voters logged in at polls Tuesday, pegging a former fire chief and a radio sales manager into City Commission seats.

Less than 7 percent of registered voters marked ballots in the municipal election.

“This was the smallest turnout I’ve seen in years,” Clovis Mayor David Lansford said.

Len Vohs, a Rooney Moon Broadcasting sales manager, and William Ron Edwards, a former Clovis Fire Department chief, were winners. They will represent Districts 2 and 4, respectively.

“I’m sad,” said Edwards, who garnered a landslide victory over grocery manager Jack Twite, “that the turnout was so low. I think maybe older residents voted, but a lot of the younger people don’t take the time.”

Edwards said his experience as a city worker gained him solid footing among voters.

“I come in with an agenda that is fluid,” Edwards said.

Fellow victor Vohs said dealing with potential water shortages and improving city streets are two of his foremost concerns as a new city commissioner. A native of Clovis, Vohs said he is a well-known face in the city, and that helped him in the race.

“I feel very honored and I look forward to representing our city and my district to the best of my ability,” Vohs said. “I believe,” he added, “that the citizens wanted a fresh face and some new ideas to come to the Commission.”

Two current city commissioners, Isidro Garcia and Juan Garza, ran unopposed in the race. Jan Garrett also ran unopposed for the position of municipal judge.

That may have caused the low turnout, Vohs said. Regardless, he wasn’t pleased.

“I feel like voting is one of our precious freedoms,” he said. “I wish we would have had a higher turnout.”

Some who did go to the polls agree.

Clovis resident Orlando Bonney went to Marshall Junior High School to cast his vote Tuesday evening, as a fierce wind whipped through the region. The red, white and blue balloons of candidate Gloria Wicker, tied to a pickup truck parked in the parking lot, swayed behind Bonney upon his completion of the tradition he began 40 years ago.

“I always vote,” Bonney, 58, said. “My father and mother-in-law always pushed us to vote. It is a privilege.”

“I vote,” he said, “for the person based on how they act and what they want to do for the people.”

Yet another candidate disappointed by the lackluster participation was Gloria Wicker.

She lost in the race for commissioner to Vohs. Rather than her defeat, low voter turnouts were on her mind Tuesday night.

“What are people thinking about that they don’t care?” Wicker said.
The Clovis native and retired railroad worker said she will turn her energy elsewhere — toward another election. Wicker said she will run for probate judge.

“Now,” said Wicker, who had already dismantled her campaign balloons outside Marshall, “I will be free to devote my full energy to that endeavor.”

Clovis

City Commission
District 1 (4-year term)
One elected
• Juan Garza, 204

District 2 (4-year term)
One elected
• Len Vohs, 240
• Gloria Wicker, 166

District 3 (4-year term)
One elected
• Isidro Garcia, 81

District 4 (4-year term)
One elected
• William Ron Edwards, 299
• Jack Twite, 70

Municipal judge (4-year term)
One elected
• Jan M. Garrett, 1104

Texico, 28 votes cast
All uncontested

Mayor (4-year term)
• Jerry Cunningham, 26

City Council (2-year term)
• Doug Scioli, 28

City Council (4-year term)
• Oran Jay Autrey, 26
• Monnie Cunningham, 22

Municipal judge (4-year term)
• Dean Henninger, 27

Melrose, 186 votes cast

Mayor (4-year term, uncontested)
• Lance Pyle, 168

Municipal judge
• R.L. Burch, 157

City Council (4-year term)
Two elected
• John B. Burns, 107
• Scott Burnett, 77
• Cleo McFall, 70
• Ray Hester, 56
• Billy McGinnis, 47

City Council (2-year term)
One elected
• Michael W. Jacobs, 131
• Paul A. Payne Sr., 51

Fort Sumner
Mayor
• Juan A. Chavez, 338
• Raymond Lopez, 90

City Council (4-year term)
Two elected
• Windell Bridges, 227
• Bobby Williamson, 164
• Melinda Joy Russ, 136
• George Sena, 115
• Bill Prather, 38
• Donald L. Morris, 37
• Earl Leroy Reynolds, 23

City Council (2-year term)
One elected
• Mary Esther Segura, 273
• Dennis A. Cleaver, 96
• Barry B. Warn, 31
• Rex D. Pope, 23

Grady
All uncontested

Mayor
• Wesley Shafer, 16

City Council
• Jimmy Schell, 17

City Council
• Harvey Hamlett, 15