This is a campaign for Mayor Martin Modey Hicks of Grants New Mexico. Mayor Hicks is charged with violating Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham‘s health order related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayor Hicks was issued a $5000 fine for violating the health order and protesting the governors shutdown of New Mexico and inflicting damaging results to small businesses in his community.
Apple computers unleashed the Macintosh computer, a group of artists and musicians came together to fight hunger in Africa, and a young Marine returned home. the year was 1984 and Martin Hicks, also known as “Modey”, found himself back where he started his journey in life, Grants, New Mexico. “When I came back things were different, and I knew I had to do something productive, so I found a career in adult corrections, says Hicks”.
While in the Marine Corp Hicks realized following orders and procedures is a way of survival. Hicks explains, “It’s how things are accomplished without any hick-ups. By following rules and laws, I have never had any issues where I have been accused of putting my life or someone else safety in jeopardy.” During his 25 years of service to the New Mexico Department of Corrections, Hicks continued to administer policies and procedures in a manner he acquired as a Marine.
Hicks’ record military record and his accommodations with the New Mexico Department of Corrections speak for themselves. If you ask folks around Grants, New Mexico what they think of Martin “Modey” Hicks you will find a mix of responses, one you will not here is that he is a typical politician.
When asked about his introduction to politics Hicks said, “A friend of mine had approached me and reminded me that for the last twenty years my efforts were into training athletes. Building people to do things they never thought they could do. We talked several times after that, and it was time to take charge.” Hicks added his actions fall parallel to a passage he found not too long ago, which states, “Be an encourager. The world has plenty of critics already.”
The encouragement Hicks received allowed him to take charge of Grants after a landslide victory in 2014. “We had us a mayor that was running the city of Grants and everything around us was falling apart. We were facing severe issues with flooding; a lot of our resources were being spent in places where the public was not accessed as frequently as they ought to have, hell we even had money in the bank that had been sitting there for improvements to the city and no one accessing these funds.”
Since 2014 the City of Grants has benefitted with improvements to the city infrastructure such as a 30-year lease agreement with the Bureau of Land Management. The agreement permits the city to maintain and repair an area that was causing flooding in the area. Hicks kept the campaign promise he made to the people of Grants. Many no longer have to deal with the aftermath of a flash flood due to neglect.
“I look out at my town! These people put their trust in me when they checked my name on the ballot box, and all of a sudden I’m a bad guy. Recall Me! I haven’t done anything criminal that supports my removal,” says Hicks.
On the contrary, Hicks has done several noble things. For instance, the historic Mother Whiteside Library received a new facility that is now called the Grants Public Library. The Library cost 3.5 million dollars and was paid in full as part of the general fund. “We had so much money when the people elected me our focus was on repairing the town's infrastructure. The North Hills Bridge, First Street Bridge, Second Street Bridge, a walking bridge currently under construction at the Grants High School, the Washington Avenue bridge, and a recently completed George Hanosh.
Since Hick's second term things have changed around at city hall and the effects can be felt in the city council meetings. “As a Marine, I took an oath to defend this country. When I was first elected as councilman I took that same oath to uphold the Federal and State Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. As the Mayor of Grants, I have fulfilled my duties and improved our community.”
Hicks continued to speak on his concerns of a socialist state showing its face in New Mexico politics. When our soldiers flooded the beaches of Normandy they knew what dangers they faced. Our brave warriors never once stopped and said, “we can’t go forward it’s not safe.” When the Japanese attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor we did not become fearful. America was not built on fear. We are a nation built on sacrifice. Everyone has had to stand up for their freedom and Mayor Hicks believes it is his duty to support that movement.
When asked about the current attempts in Cibola County for a recall petition he stated, “there are a small number of people in our community who have decided to judge a book on its cover. My record speaks for itself I stand up for my constituents. With my efforts, along with other elected officials, the City of Grants was able to work together to bring value and sustainability to our infrastructure. Infringement on our constitutional rights will not be tolerated, on my watch. If my appearance bothers them to bad. Our country is great because we have constitutional rights that protect basic freedoms. After all, God gave inalienable rights. When walking my foot lands on solid ground. When I speak my voice is loud. Are any of these complaints’ criminals? There is no reason to have me removed other than the fact my demeanor as a politician does not meet up to their social acceptance because of my hair, beard, Calvary hat, and loud voice. I am not part of in-crowd, never have been, that is why we have managed to have such great success with these projects. No favors were owed or exchanged, we worked together to build our city all the while promoting transparency. Now they want to recall me for doing the job I promised the people of our great community, I would do. That’s ludicrous. When asked how Hicks felt about the entire situation regarding the recall and the governor's order Hicks once again said, “ They're all a bunch of communist democrats that are nothing more than a bunch of hot air. "
Mayor Hicks appeared in 13th Judicial District Court on Monday, August 17, 2020, before Judge Lawrence J. Sanchez. The hearing was scheduled to hear a motion filed in district to recall Mayor Hicks. The efforts are being headed by members of the Democrat Party loyal to New Mexico Governor, Michele Lujan Grisham. Diego Esquibel, the attorney for Mayor Hicks weeded through a shopping list of charges that were unsuccessful except for one item. Judge Sanchez ruled there was probable cause to go forward for Mayor Hick’s outburst during a city council meeting on June 22, 2020. The Judge’s decision was not a finding that the Mayor did anything wrong, but rather a finding that there was enough evidence for the petition to forward and possible allow the voters to decide if the Mayor did something wrong.
While the Mayor did show his displeasure with the City Council’s vote to allow a Rodeo on July 4th weekend only moments after having failing to allow the 4th of July parade, it was not because they did not allow the parade, but rather because they would pick one activity over the other. If one activity was not safe, neither activity was safe. The narrative being pushed is that Mayor Hicks was so upset about the cancelation of the parade, he blew up at everyone and went on to hold the parade anyways. The truth is he voiced his anger that the City Council acted in such a hypocritical manner and moved on.
The 4th of July protest that took place in Grants was organized and planned by a group of Grants residence who wanted to exercise their constitutional rights. As the Governor had consistently commended and encouraged protestors around the State, residence wanted to themselves show their displeasure with current State orders hurting the people of Grants. The night before the protest Mayor Hicks was invited by the organizers to come out and show his support for people’s right to assemble peacefully and he did. This scenario was supported by evidence in front of Judge Sanchez and helped the Court find that Mayor Hicks did not violate the public health order when he protested with his fellow residents.
On July 8th Mayor Hicks was given a Notice of Contemplated Action by the Department of Health. After reviewing some news coverage and seeing a flyer for a 4th of July parade the DOH believed the Mayor should be fined $5,000. The Department of Health never conducted any real investigation of the 4th of July protest to find out who organized it and what hand (if any) Mayor Hicks had in the protest. The State was quick to conclude that the Mayor had done something wrong because he has been vocal in the fight to safely open small business in Grants. Their quick actions to excessively fine the Mayor were nothing more than a push of a false narrative. When asked why he is fighting back he stated “I’m here to ensure that the laws of our great nation, state, county, municipality are enforced while representing the people of our great community. I have been doing a hell of a job for six years. Why all of a sudden does someone from out of state find fault in my leadership because of a bad 2 minutes of my life. My passion for this great county is evident how would anyone expect an American to act when our freedoms and traditions are threatened.” He went on to say “I did nothing criminal, I stood up for America and for this I am being recalled. It’s America I been defending her thus far; I will continue to defend her until my last breath.”