Legislators advance Dem gerrymandered congressional, state House maps

On Friday, the New Mexico Senate passed a revised map from what was originally proposed by state Sen. Joseph Cervantes (D-Doña Ana). The originally proposed map by Cervantes made two D+4 districts in the Third and Second Districts, while one D+11 performing district in the First District. The plan looped the First District with parts of Santa Fe County while it extended all the way down from Albuquerque to Lincoln County.

It put the Third District in a snake-like figure, which went all the way from northeast New Mexico, including Taos and Santa Fe, to Lovington and Hobbs. The Second District would include Albuquerque’s South Valley and parts of Valencia County it once had would be plunged into the First District.

However, the Senate voted on an update from Cervants’ original map he presented, which kept Santa Fe County intact in the Third District and swung it one more point Democrat, leaving it at D+5. The Second District would remain a D+4 district and the First would be a D+11. The First District, in this new map, would snake all the way over to Roswell and include Fort Sumner.

Despite backlash from Republican and independent members, the Democrats rammed it through on a vote of 25-14, with Sen. Jacob Candelaria (DTS) voting with all Republicans against it. 

Candelaria dubbed the map “inherently racist.” “I don’t use those words lightly, but when you are drawing the line in this map, I’ll tell you exactly how it’s drawn: It’s drawn along the wealthy homes along the bosque — million-dollar estates, $500,000 homes. That’s who this map says gets to be part of the Albuquerque ‘community of interest.’ But poor, working-class Hispanic folks in the southeast part of Albuquerque and the South Valley are no longer part,” Candelaria said, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican

The vote came after a tumultuous Senate Judiciary Committee hearing where most New Mexicans in attendance were against the newly proposed map and virtual attendees via Zoom were not allowed to speak until public backlash forced the committee to allow virtual testimomy. Even Rep. Teresa Leger de Fernandez’s (D-NM-03) brother, Martín Leger, testified against the bill.

In the House, Speaker Brian Egolf and Democrats rammed through the heavily gerrymandered state House redistricting map based on a George Soros-funded group’s proposal, the Center for Civic Policy (CCP). It passed by 43-23. 

The CCP map would create extreme-looking shapes that are traits of heavy partisan gerrymandering. 

“We can’t always get what we want,” Rep. Dayan Hochman-Vigil (D-Albuquerque) said. “Sometimes we have hard races in front of us, but we shouldn’t be looking at maps in a protectionistic manner.”

Now, the House’s state House map moves to the Senate, while the Senate’s heavily gerrymandered congressional map moves to the House for consideration.

Also on Saturday, all Republicans excluding Rep. Stefani Lord (R-Sandia Park) helped Democrats pass their $1.06 billion spending spree with federal funds, further assisting the leftist agenda in New Mexico.

See the partisan analysis of the congressional maps via FiveThirtyEight here.

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