Home New mexico economy Revamped New Mexico 3-Seater Congress Card Advances | New Mexico News

Revamped New Mexico 3-Seater Congress Card Advances | New Mexico News

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By MORGAN LEE, Associated Press

SANTA FE, NM (AP) – Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday introduced a plan to redesign New Mexico’s three congressional districts and reshape a southern district traditionally dominated by Republicans.

Democratic Sen. Joseph Cervantes de Las Cruces’ map redesign would bolster a Hispanic majority in New Mexico’s southern 2nd Congressional District by extending its boundaries to Albuquerque, the state’s largest metropolitan area.

The map would also divide a conservative stronghold in the state’s southeastern oil producing area into several districts. The change from the 2nd Congressional District to the state was condemned by Republican senators in the state.

The new card came forward after a Senate committee on Wednesday approved the redistribution bill in a 7-4 vote, according to the party line. Another review by the committee of the redistribution proposal is scheduled before a possible vote in the Senate.

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The plan has profound implications for all three members of Congress from New Mexico, including Republican United States Rep. Yvette Herrell, a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump who ousted a Democratic incumbent in 2020. The other two Congressional representatives from New Mexico are Democrats.

Republicans need a net gain of just five seats in 2022 to take control of the United States House and effectively freeze President Joe Biden’s agenda on everything from climate change to the economy.

Two of the state’s congressional seats have been held by Democrats for more than a decade. Democrats have the upper hand in the New Mexico redistribution process because they control the governor’s office and have a large majority in the state House and Senate.

A legislative panel on Wednesday approved a State House redistribution map that would strengthen voting-age Native American majorities in six districts in northwestern New Mexico.

A wide range of Native American leaders have united behind the bill’s redistribution plans for the heavily Native northwestern region of the state that runs through the Navajo Nation, the Jicarilla Apache Reservation, and most of the 19 pueblo communities of the state. State.

Democratic House Speaker Brian Egolf said he voted in committee for the plan out of respect for Native American self-determination, as Indigenous communities seek to improve public education and infrastructure. House Republican Minority Leader James Townsend said concessions in the northwestern state came at the expense of

A wide range of Native American leaders behind a proposed political maps to strengthen Native influence in the New Mexico legislature, as part of efforts to improve educational and economic opportunities in the Indian country

Cervantes said his congressional map proposal would make the 2nd Congressional District more representative of New Mexico as a whole and break with a long-standing political pact that ceded the southern part of the state to Republicans.

“Southern New Mexico has almost always elected conservative Republicans in large part because of where the lines are drawn,” Cervantes said.

Republican Senator Gay Kernan called the proposal an offensive to the largely conservative region, saying it aimed to impose hostile political representation on the region’s important oil and gas industry.

“It is an injustice to my community and to the industry that has provided so much to this state,” said Kernan, whose hometown of Hobbs would be split between two districts under the plan.

She warned her fellow Democrats to be careful what they want, saying many Hispanic voters support Republican values ​​and the oil industry and that the redistribution plan is likely to energize Tories.

“You’ve definitely caught the attention of people in my area,” Kernan said.

The Democratic proposal sticks roughly to a Congress redistribution map presented by the progressive group Center for Civic Policy that promotes greater representation of underprivileged communities and a coalition of advocacy groups that called for a strong Latino majority. in the southern district of the state. They said the region’s minority populations feel neglected by politicians.

According to the new Congressional District map, Hispanics would make up about 56% of the proposed Southern Congressional District, up from about 51% currently.

Albuquerque resident Fernanda Banda, a 24-year-old organizer for an immigrant rights group, applauded the plan.

“It’s time for my people to have a Hispanic majority district and exercise their power,” Banda said.

About 48% of New Mexico residents claim Hispanic ancestry – the highest share of any state. For many, ties to the region can be traced back to periods of Mexican and Spanish colonial surveillance. The state elected three consecutive Hispanic governors, including two women.

Democratic Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino of Albuquerque said the redistribution proposal would create three districts that more closely mirror the state as a whole by combining urban and rural areas.

Republican Senator Cliff Pirtle, a dairy farmer from Roswell, denounced the new card as a blatant move by Democrats to capture the three congressional seats in New Mexico.

“We should have at least one Republican congressman from the state of New Mexico, or at least one conservative congressman,” he said.

Also on Wednesday, a legislative panel approved a State House redistribution plan in a separate bill to consolidate Native American voting majorities in six districts in the state’s heavily indigenous northwest region.

A wide range of Native American leaders have united behind this part of the map amid efforts to improve educational and economic opportunities in the Indian country. New Mexico has 23 federally recognized Indigenous communities.

Democratic House Speaker Brian Egolf of Santa Fe said he supported the bill out of respect for consensus among tribal leaders.

House Republican Minority Leader James Townsend d’Artesia voted in committee against the plan, saying it would undermine minority representation in other ways, including changing a district owned by the representative of the State Jane Powdrell-Culbert of Corrales, who is black.

The Democrat-sponsored bill is given further consideration by the House committee before a possible floor vote.

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