NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Every decade, New Mexico has to redraw the lines for congressional districts to determine who represents you in Congress and almost every time it’s a battle. We’re getting a better idea of how each district could be drawn and how that might impact New Mexico elections. The Citizens Redistricting Committee has a tough job to come up with districts that people on both sides of the aisle see as fair.
Currently, the three congressional districts are a defined north and south and part of Albuquerque’s metro, including Torrance County, make up their own district. After weeks of public input on how they want the districts to take shape, these are some of the options the Citizens Redistricting Committee is moving forward with.
“We heard lots of things on the congressional districts but there was a significant amount of the population about maintaining the core of the existing districts,” said a presenter in the CRC meeting. The CRC said they try to make New Mexico’s population split as evenly as possible between the districts while also considering comments from the public on being grouped in a district with similar differences.
One has part of Albuquerque’s unincorporated South Valley joining the southern district. In that same proposal, the northern congressional district would include Lincoln County. “Actually Albuquerque, Rio Rancho is like a donut surrounded by districts,” said a presenter in the CRC meeting on a different proposal.
In another proposal, a good portion of New Mexico’s east side would become part of the second congressional district. It’s currently being represented by Republican Congresswoman Yvette Harrell. Looking at the Secretary of State’s most recent voter registration data, with that map, more registered Republicans would be voting in that second congressional district.
KRQE News 13 asked Curry County Democrats their thoughts on the entire east side of the state joining the second congressional district and they disapproved. “We would prefer to stay in CD-3 where we work well with the counties in CD-3,” said Curry County Democratic Party Chair Anthony Mahan. “We’ve started to work on strategies and done good work in CD-3 so we would love to stay intact in CD-3.”
Curry County Republicans, however, favored the maps that kept eastern counties grouped together. “Any of these maps that separate us and our neighbors in Portales or our neighbors north of us I think really break apart our interest,” said Curry County Republican Party Chair Marcus Smith.
These plans are not final. There will be four more weeks of public input to help redraw the lines and the CRC will send at least three proposals to the legislature by mid-October. The CRC is also helping put together state legislative district maps.