ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Congresswoman Yvette Herrell is beginning to meet with people in a revised congressional district that now includes thousands of Albuquerque voters. This comes after redistricting left New Mexico’s three congressional districts looking a lot different.
“What I’ve heard from several people are jobs, small business development, how we can improve this small business atmosphere here,” said Rep. Herrell said in an interview with KRQE News 13 Monday, speaking of meeting with people in the Albuquerque-area. “How can we ensure they are successful? And what can we do to grow our economy in this area of the new district and certainly crime.”
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Developed by the Democratic majority legislature and approved by the governor, the new map will move voters in the Albuquerque-metro’s South Valley into southern New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District starting in 2023. In the decade prior to the 2021 redistricting effort, the 2nd Congressional District boundaries stopped at the southern edge of Bernalillo County, miles several miles south of Rio Bravo.
Rep. Herrell currently represents the 2nd Congressional District, but she does not currently represent the new Albuquerque-area constituents that the latest redistricting effort impacted. Through the end of 2022, Rep. Herrell’s current constituents remain defined by the map established in 2011.
The winners of the November 2022 congressional elections will represent the new congressional districts established in the 2021 redistricted map. For Herrell, winning re-election in November 2022 would mean her CD2 constituents would change to include Albuquerque’s South Valley starting in 2023.
The new congressional district map also put more eastern New Mexico voters into the 3rd Congressional District, pairing it with northern New Mexico cities like Santa Fe. Democratic Representative Teresa Leger Fernandez currently represents CD3, having won her first term in 2020.
A lawsuit over the new map has been filed by New Mexico’s Republican party. NM GOP Chairman Steve Pearce claims the map is in part a “cynical attempt” for Democrats to consolidate power.
As the latest round of redistricting works its way through the court, Rep. Herrell is preparing to represent CD2 as it is slated to look in 2023. However, Herrell says she doesn’t agree with the new map.
“I think what we saw happen was that people that live what is now the 2nd Congressional, for instance,” said Rep. Herrell. “Artesia now being looped in with Santa Fe. I feel like that disenfranchises communities of interest.”
Herrell says she has already met with Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales, Albuquerque city councilors and other leaders. She plans to introduce and advocate for legislation aimed at tackling crime.
“We will be pushing through on this soft on crime initiative. We think it’s important that we start educating people even in Washington, D.C. so they understand what this bail reform did and is doing,” Rep. Herrell said. She says the priorities remain the same including introducing legislation she says would help secure the border.