Mayoral candidate Dan Lewis has secured a key endorsement from Legacy Church pastor Steve Smothermon, but that endorsement comes with a caveat.
“I wholeheartedly support Dan Lewis for mayor. He’s the one true believer in the race, and could never in anyway support the homosexual agenda,” Smothermon posted on his Instagram account recently. “He will bring business to our city and he will reduce crime.”
Smothermon, whose church has 20,000 members, has made headlines in recent years. In 2012, he criticized Gov. Susana Martinez for appointing a gay man to the state Public Regulation Commission. And he has previously taken issue with Mayor Richard Berry for signing a proclamation supporting the annual gay pride parade.
Lewis, a Republican city councilor and an ordained Baptist minister, said the nation is being ripped apart by divisive personal agenda politics, “driven mostly by the media,” something he said weakens us.
Asked whether he would hire a gay person in the mayor’s office if he wins or whether he would be open to signing a proclamation for the gay pride parade, Lewis said he would.
“As mayor, I would never refuse to hire someone for a job based on their sexual preference. Not only is it unconstitutional, it is just plain wrong to set such a condition to get a job,” he said.
“My agenda is to serve our city, to help everyone succeed, and to treat everyone the same. That is how I’ve dealt with people as a business owner, city councilor, and pastor. And that is how Tracy and I have set an example for our children.”
As for the proclamation: “I never sign anything before reading it,” he said. “I’ll give all proclamation proposals fair consideration and then make a decision, and not before.”
Speaking of endorsements, State Auditor Tim Keller, a Democrat who is also running for mayor, recently announced an endorsement from ABQWest Chamber of Commerce.
“We endorse Tim Keller because we believe he is the candidate best suited to address issues impacting Westside families,” Alan Armijo, president and board chairman, said in a statement. “He has a clear vision for making real investments in our small businesses, tackling our unacceptable crime crisis, and standing up for kids with specific ideas for after and summer school programs.”