On Friday, leftist Sen. Joe Cervantes (D-Doña Ana) took to Twitter to claim the far-left Democrat gerrymandered maps passed in the Democrat-dominated legislature were not gerrymandered but rather were “competitive” maneuvers. The conversation came after GOP Rep. Yvette Herrell narrowly lost the seat to far-left Democrat Gabe Vasquez following the November 8 midterm elections.
He wrote, “To those charging me with gerrymandering – we did the opposite. We created a competitive district rather than a seat assigned one party. This is how we restore Congress to the founders’ ideals, and turn back tribal extremists entirely beholden to parties.”
It is unclear what Cervantes meant by “tribal extremists.”
The districts rip away the old one northern, southern, and central district approach, and force communities that have little common factors into adjoining districts. The maps plunge the South Valley of Albuquerque into the southern district while chopping Hobbs in half and splitting it between the Second and Third District. The formerly northern district now snakes down the eastern part of the state to Roswell, while Albuquerque is now adjoined with Lincoln, Chaves and other counties.
After his defense of rigging the map by drawing out the only conservative-leaning district to a Democrat one by an 18-point partisan swing, New Mexicans took to the comments to call him out for his leftist hackery.
One commenter wrote, “Lying piece of s**t… south valley is not part of the souther[n] portion of the state.”
Another person wrote, “I live in Rio Rancho, I know exactly what you did. Been wishing I could be part of a red district, but I’ve been a part of D3 with Santa Fe for as long as I can remember.
Then, a miracle, red D2 reached up to Rio-then the South Valley grew right off it, like some weird [appendage].”
“You know damn good and well what you did. If you can’t win fair and square you cheat. It’s the Democrat way. Curry is a red county,” wrote another.
Others replied with GIFs:
Even Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe), the retiring House speaker, admitted to the partisan gerrymander before the redistricting process, saying, “So this is the last election for New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District with a map that looks like it looks now.” He added, “So next time it’ll be a different district and we’ll have to see what that means for Republican chances to hold it.”
The Santa Fe New Mexican’s columnist Milan Simonich wrote in a piece after the formerly Republican-leaning district was flipped blue:
Herrell put partisan complaints ahead of everything else. She did it again Wednesday after losing her congressional seat to Democrat Gabe Vasquez.
This time is different. Herrell actually has a valid complaint.
Her 2nd District was redrawn in a blatant example of gerrymandering. The 1st and 3rd congressional districts were manipulated in similar unfair fashion to weaken Herrell.
For instance, the state Legislature, dominated by Democrats, carved Republican-dominated Chaves County into three congressional districts.
But despite the left and right agreeing that what the Democrats did was a blatant gerrymander, Cervantes is doing whatever he feels he needs to justify his partisan power grab.