August 31, 2023

New Mexico scores high in gender parity report

An organization seeking gender equality in public office ranked New Mexico fourth in its 2023 Gender Parity Index.

RepresentWomen has published gender parity indices since 2013. In the last three indices, New Mexico has scored highly. Gender parity is when 50 percent or more public offices are held by women.

The gender parity scores measure women’s representation across state and local government from 0-100 with 0 meaning there are no women in public offices to 100 if women serve in every public office.

In 2023, New Mexico scored 46.7 points out of 100 which is down from 2022 when the state’s score was 49.2 points. In 2021 the state scored 49 points for gender parity. New Mexico was top ranked those two years.

Part of the drop comes from New Mexico’s delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives coming from an all-woman delegation to having one female representative, Yvette Herrell, losing her re-election bid to Rep. Gabe Vazquez, a Democrat from Las Cruces. 

Herrell, a Republican from Alamogordo, announced her bid for re-election in April. She was the 2nd congressional district representative, a seat that has been a revolving door in the last few elections.

Herrell won the seat during the 2020 election from then-incumbent Xochitl Torres Small who is now serving as the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture.

Torres Small had served one term when Herrell won the seat in 2020. Herrell served one term before Vazquez won the seat in 2022.

Herrell, the Republican Party of New Mexico and others claim the recent decennial redistricting effort “gerrymandered” the second congressional district since it now includes part of Albuquerque when before it covered the southern half of New Mexico.

The gerrymandering case is set to have a bench trial beginning Sept. 27, according to court records.

The second congressional district is not the only factor in RepresetWomen’s findings. 

New Mexico has elected a woman governor in the last three elections.

“For New Mexico to maintain its Parity Score, it will need to elect another woman governor after the current governor is termed out in 2026,” the index stated.