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Tucumcari grieves death of mayor

TV Hagenah

TUCUMCARI — The mayor of Tucumcari, Calvin Litchfield, 60, died at home early Wednesday morning.

Tucumcari Emergency Medical personnel responded to a call from the Litchfield residence on Sixth Street at 6:36 a.m. Wednesday for an individual apparently suffering from a heart attack.

He was pronounced dead at Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital from natural causes.

Coworkers reported that Litchfield, a certified public accountant, had been working long hours because of the tax season and was under a great deal of stress.

Litchfield, a long-time Tucumcari resident who was born in Clovis, had recently filed to run for his second term as Tucumcari mayor and was unopposed for the position. He served four years previously as a city commissioner. Recently at a city commission meeting he said he had chosen to run for one more term because he wanted to get a couple of items involved with the city completed before he stepped down. One of these was the Ute Water Pipeline project.

On Wednesday, Tucumcari City Clerk Rachel Hicklin said there was some confusion as to how the position of mayor now would be filled. She said if he were a normal sitting mayor who died, either a replacement would be appointed or a special election would be held. And if he were opposed in the election, the election would continue and probably the opponent would be awarded the position.

However, since he was running unopposed with the election near, it added some problems.

She said she would be calling the state’s municipal league for clarification.

Hicklin said Litchfield thought of his responsibilities on the commission as more than a job.

“He loved this town,” said Hicklin. “He truly did. It’s such a loss.”

Tucumcari City Manager Richard Primrose echoed Hicklin’s feelings.

“I just couldn’t believe it when I heard,” said Primrose. “I was so shocked. I was stunned.”