ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) — With election night over, you might be wondering how the results change the balance of power within the New Mexico Legislature. Many seats in the House of Representatives remain unchanged, but there will be a few new legislators taking seats.
Overall, the balance of power hasn’t shifted significantly in favor of one party or another in the 2022 election, so Democrats are likely to continue to hold the majority vote. Republicans gained two seats in the New Mexico House, but so did Democrats. And there are two seats that might go to a recount.
Republicans gained House District 66, in southeast New Mexico. Before redistricting, that area stretched between northern Roswell, Lovington, and the Texas border. Now, post redistricting, it reaches south past Artesia and even past Carlsbad.
In the 2022 November election, Republican Jimmy Mason defeated Libertarian Andrew Kennedy for a seat held by Phelps Anderson, who declined to state a political party. Anderson dropped his affiliation with the Republican party after voting for a repeal of the state’s abortion ban during the 2021 legislative session.
Republicans also gained House District 23. Currently held by Democrat Daymon Ely, the seat representing Corrales and some of Rio Rancho, will soon switch to Republican Alan Martinez’s control.
Democrats will take control of House District 38, encompassing Elephant Butte and a swath of land between Socorro and Las Cruces. Here again redistricting created a big change in the shape of the district previously held by Republican Rebecca Dow. Now Democrat Tara Jaramillo will soon take the seat.
Democrats also won House District 44. The district representing much of Rio Rancho was held by Republican Jane Powdrell-Culbert. But on election night, Powdrell-Culbert was unable to retain the seat, which will now go to Democrat Kathleen Cates.
There are two districts where votes are essentially split. House District 68, representing the Paradise Hills area, and House District 32, representing Deming and Lordsburg in southwestern New Mexico, are both looking at a possible recount.