LAS CRUCES, N.M.  It was announced Nov. 1 that Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima, the city’s longest-serving mayor, has decided not to seek an unprecedented fifth term. 

Ken Miyagishima

Miyagishima, 59, was first elected to public office in 1992 as a Doña Ana County commissioner and served for eight years. He was then elected as a city councilman in 2001 and mayor in 2007. He is now beginning his 16th year as mayor of Las Cruces.  

Miyagishima is considered one of the longest-serving Asian Americans in history to lead a U.S. city and the first American of Japanese descent to be elected to public office in New Mexico.

“I want to thank the many residents whom I have had the pleasure to meet and work with as mayor, city councilor, or county commissioner over the past 30 years,” said Miyagishima. “I think it’s time to let someone else have an opportunity to be mayor of this great city. I announced my intentions early to allow those interested in running for this position ample time to prepare for the 2023 municipal elections.”

Some of the many projects Miyagishima has been involved with include:

* Revamping city codes that require developers to provide more amenities.

* Instituting curbside recycling.

* Ending veteran homelessness.

* Keeping El Paso Electric from raising rates over the past ten years.

* Building a new LEED-certified City Hall.

* Building a new LEED-certified Convention Center.

* Building a new LEED-certified Aquatics Center.

* Constructing the new Downtown Plaza de Las Cruces.

* Acquiring 110 acres from the city of Albuquerque for medical facilities and housing.

* Best-run city in New Mexico, six consecutive years, according to an annual survey by

* One of America’s Top 10 best-run cities, five consecutive years, according to

Miyagishima said that much work still needs to be finished; he plans on using the next 13 months to complete the projects he and his colleagues started over the past couple of years. His term officially ends on Dec. 31, 2023. 

Miyagishima is married to the former Rosario “Rosie” Reza of El Paso, and they have four children, Danielle, John, Frank, and Carlos Miyagishima.

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