• Gregory Z. Smith


Updated: Jul 28, 2019

In November of this year, the voters will decide who will be the Mayor of Las Cruces starting in January of 2020. In addition to my LIVE/VIVA Las Cruces! platform, there are several other points I ask voters to consider. They form the acronym ESP.


First and most importantly, I have had the experience of serving on the Council for the past eight years and serving as mayor pro tem for four of those years. That experience is important both in being able to hit the ground running in January and being able to build on what has already been done. Part of that experience was also the early discovery that, for me to do the kind of job I wanted to do as a councilor, I needed to treat it as a full-time job, something experience has taught me that we need our mayor to do as well.

Then, I’ve had the experience of working in other fields. I taught young people as an elementary school teacher for twenty years. I had my own residential design business locally, as well as working as an intern architect with a Las Cruces architectural firm and previously working as a design associate with another firm.

My very first paying job was life guarding back in high school. I taught young people how to swim as a swimming instructor both when I was in high school and after. More recently, I coached a high school swimming team for three years. Between my first job and becoming a teacher, I worked on a survey crew, cleaned toilets, managed a greenhouse, and waited tables.

I’ve had the experience of living in other cities, states, and countries. I’m most fluent in English, but I speak Spanish reasonably well. I’ve made friends in a number of different places and under a number of different circumstances. Still, with all of that, I chose to move home to Las Cruces in 2005. I continue to believe I made the right choice.

My experience with elected office has been a positive one since 1973 when I ran for a seat on the Texas A&M Student Senate representing the College of Architecture. I won that race and all of the subsequent ones I’ve entered, and I see very good signs for that holding true again this year.

“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana


My wife and I both believe we have been living blessed lives, and Allison grew up hearing, “You have to pay it back.” I don’t recall hearing those words specifically, but I do know that I have intrinsically known them to be true.

I taught, I volunteered, and I ran for public office with the sense that I was giving back. Allison has also found productive ways to pay it back and pay it forward. Through those services to others and to the larger community, We have felt both purpose and success. We will continue to find ways to benefit our community, no matter what happens in November.

“Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in.” Ancient Greek Proverb


Despite a few tragedies and setbacks at various points in my life, my basic nature has always been essentially optimistic. Day in and day out, more good happens than bad. Challenges often prove to be opportunities to turn liabilities into assets. We can make a positive difference when we choose to.

My grandfather used to say that the best things that happened in his life were things that he hadn’t planned for. He certainly planned in his life, but I always took his comment to mean that we also have to be flexible and ready to grab opportunities when they show up, even if they are unexpected.

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.” Helen Keller

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