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Councilor Mackey considering mayoral campaign; City’s first elected African-American eyeing new heights

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Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Roswell City Councilor Natasha Mackey says she is considering running for mayor, adding a possible new dimension to the unfolding mayoral race as the first African-American candidate for mayor in the city’s history.

Mackey

Mackey, who is in the fourth year of her first four-year term on the City Council, has been considering a campaign for mayor for some time.
“I’m in prayerful consideration of running for mayor,” she told the Daily Record. “I am talking to wise counselors to get their opinion as well.”
So far, former Mayor Del Jurney and former Marine Sergio S. Gonzalez have announced their candidacies for mayor in Roswell’s 2018 municipal elections. Mayor Dennis Kintigh has said he will make an announcement after Labor Day, and that he is interested in serving a second four-year term.
“Dennis Kintigh has done a great job moving the city forward and creating new opportunities in the city through his leadership,” Mackey said. “However, I would like the opportunity to try a different role in city government and I think this would be a great way to continue serving the community of Roswell.”
Mackey will have to decide whether to run for mayor or for re-election to her Ward 1 seat on the City Council by Jan. 9, the filing day for mayoral candidates and candidates for five of the 10 City Council positions up for election next year. The nonpartisan elections are March 6, with early voting beginning Feb. 14.
“I have enjoyed serving on the City Council and would like to stay involved in city government in some capacity,” Mackey said. “I carry the same heart and vision that the community wants.”

Mackey said crime in Roswell will be among the top issues in the city elections next year.
“Crime is still a major issue in Roswell,” she said. “We are ranked (too high) in the nation per capita for our homicide rate. This has been a major deterrent to the growth of our city. I believe that if we can get the crime situation under control, then we will be able to grow as a community and bring in new and exciting businesses. Eco-economic development is still an important key to growing the community of Roswell. Inherent in that, of course, is keeping the statewide New Mexico True vision and having and maintaining a clean and safe city.”
Mackey, 39, is a math teacher at University High School, a business owner, a former associate pastor and currently serves her faith through Natasha N. Mackey Global Ministries. She would be one of the first female mayoral candidates, and the first African-American, to seek to lead the city, which has a black population of about 2.5 percent. The last female candidate for mayor was Judy Stubbs, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2006, when Sam LaGrone was elected. Mackey is already the first African-American elected to the Roswell City Council.
“As Councilor Steve Henderson commented, ‘If you want something done right, get a woman to do it,’ resounds in my heart,” Mackey said. “It’s quite inspirational.”
Mackey shook the local political bushes in March when she proposed an ordinance that would limit the powers of the mayor and City Council, while providing a legal path to more easily remove elected officials from office. The proposal would prohibit the mayor and city councilors from usurping the authority of the city manager, specifically by interfering with personnel matters, union negotiations or legal matters.
Mackey said the proposed ordinance, titled “Demarcating the duties of the governing body and the administrative staff,” was borne from a concern that Kintigh has been too hands-on in the day-to-day operations of city government and that his presence at City Hall can be intimidating to some city staff.
The proposed ordinance has yet to clear a City Council committee or come to the full City Council for consideration.
Mackey is frequently called upon to sing the national anthem at public events. She recently released her first CD called “Whisper’s from the heart of God.”
Interim editor Jeff Tucker can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 303, or at editor@rdrnews.com.