Grant, left, announced his bid for Roswell City Council Ward 2. The seat is now held by Councilman Jim my Craig. (Courtesy Photo Caleb)
Business owner Caleb Grant, a lifelong Roswell resident, is the second candidate to announce a bid to run for City Council in Ward 2. The seat is held by Councilman Jimmy Craig.
Earlier this month, U.S. Army veteran and former instructor at the New Mexico Military Institute Jerry Heck threw his hat in the race.
Grant is a third-generation Roswellian. He and his wife, Emily, were born and raised in the city. They moved away for five years to attend school at University of New Mexico, where Grant studied business management, but returned in 2009.
Grant is now an agent at Farm Bureau Financial Services. The couple have a 2-year-old son.
“We love Roswell,” Grant said of his young family. “We are fully invested in Roswell, from my 80-plus year-old grandmother to our 2-year-old son. I feel like there is so much improvement to be made that we can all benefit from.”
Grant has already spent valuable time speaking to neighbors, friends and family about what concerns them most in the city, he said.
“There’s a big disconnect to what they feel goes on in City Hall, compared to what they feel their real world is,” Grant said.
At the top of the list is public safety, he said.
“City safety is our main focus at this time,” Grant said. “City safety feeds into the local economy and culture.”
Grant said he feels the safety of the community has “gotten out of hand.” While Roswell Fire Department has continued to improve, the city police department continues to struggle with retaining and hiring officers, he said.
“It’s kind of turning into a training ground for other departments,” Grant said.
Grant has paid attention to the city’s budget for the past two years and said he feels city leaders need to refocus budget priorities.
“We need to have resources in place to build up our police department,” Grant said. “Currently, with the high crime rates, an outside business looking into Roswell might not feel stable bringing in new businesses with that crime rate. And, our citizens, and our current business owners deserve an improved crime rate.”
Grant also said the dilapidated buildings around the town need to be addressed.
“It’s time to clean this city up,” he said. “It’s something a city our size needs to be addressing. It’s gone on long enough.”
Grant has been president of the Young Republicans for three years. He is also on the executive board of the Republican Party of Chaves County. He was elected this year to serve as the second vice chairman of the organization.
Grant has considered running for public office for a few years.
“This has kind of been a work in progress for a little over two years,” Grant said, about his decision to run for the city office. “When we came back, I saw a huge need and room for improvement at the city here to revive Roswell. I feel Roswell has been fairly stagnant for a while now.”
During his lifetime, Grant said he has watched as several manufacturing plants have closed. The city could greatly improve if some of those manufacturing jobs could return, he said.
“In my lifetime, we’ve lost a large number of manufacturing jobs,” Grant said.
Grant is a member of Christ’s Church. He also coached youth soccer, Little League Baseball and spent three years as an assistant basketball coach at Gateway Christian High School.