On Friday afternoon, the Citizens Redistricting Committee convened to discuss and vote on the final maps the Committee would be advancing to the Legislature. There was much debate on multiple map concepts, especially regarding the map proposed by a far-left group called the Center for Civic Policy (CCP), which would partisanly gerrymander the district into Democrats’ hands — robbing conservative and rural voters of a voice in Congress. The map passed the committee by a vote of 5-2.
During the discussion, Map Concept A, which is a map that does not make radical changes to the current congressional delegation, was lauded by Members Christopher Saucedo and Ryan Cangiolosi, who noted how a majority of comments submitted were against radical and extreme changes.
Leftist Member Lisa Curtis, who despite claiming to not support a “radical” change to the map concepts, said, “I’m concerned about the Hispanic voting-age population percentage in A.” However, the Hispanic population changes she claims exist only vary by around one percent from other maps.
Member Michael Sanchez claimed, “For thirty years, New Mexico has done nothing but the status quo,” advocating against Concept A. Regarding Concepts A, B, and C, which do not make radical changes, Sanchez said, “These three maps appear to me to be very little chance and are we really looking at moving our state forward in terms of the maps?”
Curtis claimed, “We are sort of abdicating our responsibility by just putting a status quo map,” despite the Commission being formed to make fair maps — not extreme maps, as she is advocating for. She claimed, “I am not … concerned about the Legislature.”
Far-left former “community activist” Member Joaquín Sanchez said, “I don’t know if I want to give options that are easy for the Legislature.”
Concept A ended up passing the Committee by a vote of 4-3, with Members Cangiolosi, Chavez, Saucedo, and Rhatigan supporting it, while both Sanchez’s and Curtis opposing the maps.
The Committee then discussed Concept H, the extremist CCP map, which Member Curtis ferociously defended.
“I don’t think this is overreaching the Hispanic voting-age population by any stretch,” claimed Curtis. Saucedo made many arguments against it, for multiple reasons, including it splitting nine counties while splitting the Albuquerque metro area and Hobbs.
“I have spent more time deliberating on this map myself than any other map,” said Member Rhatigan. “I do have concerns with the splitting of that community of interest — southwest New Mexico — splitting it not two ways, but three ways. And the same thing happens to the Albuquerque area.”
“As a resident of Albuquerque, I have a concern that none of my representatives could be from Albuquerque,” added Rhatigan.
Member Cangiolosi added, “I am a strong ‘no’ vote.” The Committee then went on to discuss other maps before coming back around to the CCP map. The map ended up passing by a vote of 5-2, with Cangiolosi and Saucedo being the only “no” votes.
Regarding the Native American consensus map, it drew wide concern. “What does to the rest of the state is a little bit concerning,” said Rhatigan. The Committee voted not to advance the map due to no consensus by pueblos.
Justice Chavez proposed a map, which is what appears to be a compromise proposal that doesn’t make too radical of a change, was then brought up for discussion.
“I actually see Justice Chaves’s map… to be a pretty good rendition of status quo with influence by the things we heard, and without controversy,” Curtis said. “There is zero radical about that map.” The Chavez map passed by a wide consensus. It appeared to have a 6-1 vote. The congressional maps still must go through a partisan review by the Committee.
Members Saucedo and Curtis, among others, had a lively discussion regarding state House districts and the appropriate deviation between the districts to pass scrutiny. Curtis opted for a higher percentage closer to 10 percent deviation while Saucedo and Cangiolosi opted for a lower deviation closer to five percent. Discussion is ongoing for state Senate maps.
The motion was made to advance map Concept A1 and not A, with a vote of 6-1, with Candiolosi voting against it. Concept C was advanced by Member Cangiolosi, who made the motion. The vote on the concept was 4-3, with Members Curtis and both Sanchez’s voting “no.” Concept C1 was advanced by Member Curtis with a vote of 6-2, with Saucedo and Cangiolosi voting against it.
Public Education Commission (PEC) Concept A was forwarded by Member Rhadigan to the Legislature, with a vote of 7-0. The Navajo Nation’s PEC map was advanced with a vote of 6-0, with MemberJoaquín Sanchez abstaining. Concept C was advanced by the Committee on a vote of 7-0.
The Committee will meet to discuss state House concepts next Tuesday at 3:00 p.m.