David Lansford said if he is re-elected mayor, and his personal views will make him a detriment to getting something Clovis needs from the federal government, he'll step aside or step down.
Lansford, the former three-term Clovis mayor running against incumbent Gayla Brumfield, made the statement near the end of the Q101.5 candidate forum held Tuesday night at the north annex of the Clovis-Carver Public Library.
The forum, which drew both mayoral candidates and four of the six City Commission candidates, was the second of three in consecutive nights. Candidates attended the KTQM candidate forum Monday, and are invited to a forum at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the La Casa Senior Center, 1120 Cameo St.
Lansford has come under scrutiny for his beliefs — locally, online and on television — that President Barack Obama is not a natural born citizen under the requirements of the Constitution and his election is part of a CIA conspiracy.
During the forum, he said if he believed or if somebody else told him that he would be a detriment to Clovis, he would let somebody else speak on the city's behalf — or even step down if necessary.
"There's nothing in my heart," Lansford said, "that makes me want to be a burden or an adversary for the community."
When asked about the statement after the forum, Lansford said he didn't expect such a situation to come up and likened it to being part of a team.
"When I'm not helping my team," he said, "the coach can put me on the bench."
Also, he said, items going in front of Washington depend on numerous people, including a mayor, committee chairs, local and state legislators and so on. He hopes any policy would be viewed on its merits and not as a referendum on somebody's unrelated beliefs.
"If I treat a person who didn't vote for me differently than I treat a person who did vote for me," Lansford said, "what kind of person would I be?"
Questions mayoral candidates tackled during the forum included:
• How to stop a rise in home prices: Both Brumfield, a Realtor, and Lansford said housing prices are tied to supply and demand, and demand ramped up with the population at Cannon Air Force Base.
Lansford added that U.S. debt has devalued the dollar, and he would work to instill confidence in local builders. Brumfield responded that builders are confident, and a 192-unit rental complex is coming soon to the city.
• Quality of life: Brumfield said quality of life, to her, means why you would move to a city and why you would stay there, and noted numerous changes to Hillcrest Park as projects that will be reasons for families to stay in the area. Lansford said the most important quality of life would be public safety, and he would approach everything else in a holistic manner.
• Helping the west side of Clovis grow: Brumfield said a $500,000 Community Block Development Grant is being put to use on a sewer trunk line up Martin Luther King Boulevard to 21st Street.
"When that starts to happen," Brumfield said, "you will see development."
Lansford said sewer capacity was an issue, and private investors were just choosing to go elsewhere.
• Rebuilding downtown Clovis: Lansford said leadership is needed, and not necessarily from the government. But, sometimes people don't want changes.
"When you have property owners that have no interest in improving the property or selling the property," Lansford said, "it makes it really difficult."
Brumfield said the redevelopment of Hotel Clovis was the "absolute catalyst" to downtown development, and that businesses are already showing interest in locating there.
• Going to Washington, D.C., on behalf of Clovis: Lansford said he'd been to Washington eight to 10 times on issues, but noted that policies with cohesive support do more than any person can.
"The people of Clovis, New Mexico do not scream loudly in Washington, D.C.," Lansford said, "but the Ute Water Project does."
Brumfield said she's gone about eight times already, more than she imagined she would. She added that she would go whenever needed.