Rio Rancho Mayor Tom Swisstack will not run for re-election.
Swisstack made the announcement Thursday. The mayoral position is up for grabs in March.
“It was a conscious decision that was difficult to get to because I love Rio Rancho so much and I love working with the people,” he said Friday morning.
Swisstack said he looked at where he wanted to go with his life, and wanted to spend more time with friends and family, travel and “look at where things go from a distance.” He wants to enjoy life, and hold down just one job, he said.
He’s continuing his work as Bernalillo County deputy manager.
Swisstack, 64, has lived in Rio Rancho about 25 years, 22 of which he’s been in public office as mayor, county commissioner or state representative. He believes he’s had a golden opportunity to work with great people and help develop a vision for the city.
“I attribute all the success to the citizens, the employees and other governmental entities,” Swisstack said.
Without the partnerships, he added, the city wouldn’t have seen the success it has, such as national recognition as a top place to raise a family or start a business.
Swisstack’s announcement doesn’t mean he’s permanently stepping out of elected office.
“I’m keeping all my options open,” he said.
Swisstack thanked city employees and the members of the public for their trust.
“I encourage the citizens and the business community to help design the city’s next chapter as it continues to grow and prosper,” Swisstack said in a news release. “It is important that we continue to develop a well-rounded city that includes quality of life as well as economic development. The power to make our community great is truly in all the people’s hands, and I encourage you to become involved and help us move forward.”
Swisstack was most recently elected in 2010 by a large margin. He had previously won a 2008 election for his second stint as mayor, finishing the last two years of former Mayor Kevin Jackson’s term.
He served his first term as mayor from 1994 to 1998.
Albuquerque Journal staff writer Patrick Lohmann contributed to this story.