One is legally barred from entering city hall despite being elected mayor last night. Another owes $30,000 in unpaid child support. Yet another has said he believes President Obama's 2008 election was part of a CIA conspiracy.
These are just snapshots of some of the politicians voters elected into public office during last night's municipal elections.
Last night, Española voters reelected City Councilor Corey Lewis, who, according to the Rio Grande Sun, was sued in 2007 by the mother of one of his children for unpaid child support. In February 2011, a court ordered Lewis to start paying the debt or spend 30 days in jail. Lewis told the Sun that the unpaid child support was the result of his struggles in the poor economy.
"It's not like I just went out and took a loan and said, 'I'm not going to repay you,'" Lewis told the Sun in a March 1 article.
Española voters picked Eric Rodosevich, who was arrested three times in the late '80s for alcohol-related offenses, for city council as well. They also reelected Municipal Court Judge Stephen Salazar, who was the target of a 2007 discrimination lawsuit and a 2010 lawsuit for "blackballing" a local towing company. The former was settled in 2008 and the latter was dismissed last year.
Felony charges and a ban from entering city hall wasn't enough to prevent Sunland Park voters from electing Daniel Salinas as the city's next mayor. Then again, voter fraud could have played a role in Salinas' narrow victory of 84 votes. NMPolitics.net's Heath Haussamen reports today that at least four fraudulent votes by Texas residents have been disqualified from the election.
Salinas, who currently serves as mayor pro tem, was arrested on Feb. 25 with City Manager Jamie Aguilera on felony charges for allegedly extorting mayoral opponent Gerardo Hernandez with a video of Hernandez receiving a lap dance from a stripper in an attempt to get him to drop out of the race.
Salinas was released from jail on the condition that he refrain from all contact with city hall and city employees. Haussamen writes: "If he can't step foot in the city's administrative building, how can he do the job?"
Clovis Mayor-Elect David Lansford is an advocate of conspiracy theories surrounding President Obama, notes New Mexico Telegram's Matthew Reichbach in a post today. Lansford has written about his belief that Obama, under instructions from the CIA, helped arm the Taliban in the 1980s in its efforts to fight against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Lansford has also accused Obama of using "neurolinguistics" to "confuse and deceive his audience."
"The United States of America is being held hostage by the greatest evil ever known to mankind," Lansford wrote in June 2010 post on a blog called Educate Your Mind. "If the United States falls, Liberty and Justice will no longer be available to anyone on the planet. A vacuum will form and chaos will ensue."
Lansford recently told the Clovis News Journal that he "absolutely" believes everything he's written and said regarding the Obama conspiracies. Reichbach writes that Lansford's opponent, Gayla Brumfield, refused to make an election issue out of Lansford's fringe views.
Photo courtesy New Mexico Politics with Joe Monahan.