The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Jack King 

Incumbent ousted in tight District 2 race

 


Fred Van Soelen summed it up in five words: “It was a nail biter,” he said.

Van Soelen, an assistant district attorney, won the city commission District 2 race with 285 votes — 37 more than runner-up Len Vohs and 40 more than incumbent Gloria Wicker.

Van Soelen said his efforts on the commission will be focused on better pay for police officers and firefighters, as well as water issues, streets, parks and other quality of life issues for District 2 residents.

He attributed the closeness of the race to the fact that it was a three-way contest and that all three candidates campaigned vigorously.

Wicker, who completed one four-year term on the commission, was philosophical about the loss.

“The people have spoken; that says plenty. Turnout was terrible,” she said, referring to a voter turnout of just 23 percent.

She said she plans to stay involved in Clovis public affairs.

“You better believe it. There are still things I want to see done,” she said.

Vohs, who finished three votes ahead of Wicker, said his success was due to the fact he is well known and liked in Clovis and he made a point of going out and meeting as many voters as possible face to face.

“I enjoyed running and I thought all three of us ran hard. I think Fred Van Soelen did a great job of campaigning will be a great commissioner,” he said.

Van Soelen will be one of two new city commissioners sworn in on Monday. Randal Crowder ran unopposed in District 1, where Gordon Smith did not run for re-election.

• • •

District 2 glance

• Fred Van Soelen — 285

• Len Vohs — 248

• Gloria Wicker — 245

 
 

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