Emily’s List endorses seven candidates for Legislature

Emily’s List, a nonprofit that supports women candidates and reproductive rights, endorsed seven incumbents facing general election opponents in New Mexico legislative elections. All are Democrats. Emily’s List endorsed one state senator, Sen. Siah Correa Hemphill of Silver City, and six state representatives: Reps. Tara Jaramillo of Socorro, Kathleen Holmes Cates of Rio Rancho and […]

Emily’s List endorses seven candidates for Legislature

Emily’s List, a nonprofit that supports women candidates and reproductive rights, endorsed seven incumbents facing general election opponents in New Mexico legislative elections. All are Democrats.

Emily’s List endorsed one state senator, Sen. Siah Correa Hemphill of Silver City, and six state representatives: Reps. Tara Jaramillo of Socorro, Kathleen Holmes Cates of Rio Rancho and Cynthia Borrego, Joy Garratt, Pamelya Herndon and Charlotte Little, all representing parts of Albuquerque.

Emily’s List stated in its endorsement announcement that each of the candidates have supported abortion rights in the state legislature.  

“We know support for abortion rights is growing because voters know what’s at stake and these attacks on our freedom to make decisions about our own bodies is both infuriating and devastating for us,” Emily Joy Allison, deputy director of campaign communications for Emily’s List, told NM Political Report through email.

Sen. Siah Correa Hemphill

Sian Correa Hemphill represents SD 28, which includes Silver City, Deming and Lordsburg. She faces former state Sen. Gabriel “Gabe” Ramos, now a Republican, in the general election. Correa Hemphill defeated Ramos, who previously held SD 28 as a Democrat, in the 2020 Democratic primary by 1,839 votes. She beat then her Republican opponent, James Williams, in the 2020 general election by 386 votes.  

Correa Hemphill told NM Political Report that it’s an “honor to stand with Emily’s List and these six other amazing women.” 

Correa Hemphill cosponsored the Reproductive Health Provider Protections bill in 2023 that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law last year. Often referred to as a shield law, Reproductive Health Provider Protections protects providers in New Mexico from civil or criminal lawsuits launched in other states where reproductive health is highly regulated or banned. Correa Hemphill also received an Emily’s List award in 2022 for being a champion of protecting reproductive rights. 

“It’s my opinion that people are becoming more and more concerned about these attacks on our rights to access any type of resources to live safe, healthy lives. I think voters are really concerned about the really extreme politicians’ belief that it’s his right to insert himself into doctor’s offices across New Mexico. Voters across the political spectrum are rising up to reject this type of radical extremism and want to keep medical decisions private between themselves and their doctor,” Correa Hemphill said.

Correa Hemphill said the fight for reproductive justice is more than the right to have an abortion but also includes affordable contraception, comprehensive sex education and freedom from sexual violence. 

Rep. Joy Garratt

Joy Garratt, who represents HD 29, on Albuquerque’s Westside including nearly all of Petroglyph National Monument to the Rio Puerco boundary to the west of the city. She faces Republican challenger Gregory Cunningham. Cunningham ran against Garratt in 2022 and lost by 891 votes.

Garratt said receiving an endorsement from Emily’s List is “incredibly valuable” and that women deserve privacy and that “healthcare decisions belong to the woman.” She told NM Political Report that the issue is personal for her because she has suffered two miscarriages that came with complications. She said she worries about further restrictions and regulations on reproductive access.

Garratt is in her sixth year in the legislature. She cosponsored legislation to provide an appropriation for the HPV pap registry and a bill to help recruit sexual assault service providers in 2023. The first bill became part of the general fund budget, while the second bill died before reaching the House floor. Garratt said that as the House Education Committee vice chair, she supported the bill to codify School-Based Health Centers last year. The bill became controversial during the legislature when misinformation about School-Based Health Centers began to circulate.

“School-Based Health Centers exist so the child doesn’t have to be out of school all day. Some voted against it because they said School-Based Health Centers were driving people to get abortions and giving out birth control. It’s interesting to see how this issue comes up when you least expect it because of people’s opposition to reproductive healthcare and access to it,” she said.

Garratt said that though it might be a tight race, “there are some who will absolutely vote for me.”

“The one issue they ask about is abortion,” she said.

Rep. Pamelya Herndon

Pamelya Herndon represents HD 28, in the Northeast Heights of Albuquerque. The Bernalillo County Commission appointed Herndon in 2021 to replace U.S. House of Rep. Melanie Stansbury when she vacated the position. Herndon then defeated Republican challenger Nicole Chavez by 669 votes in 2022.

Herndon told NM Political Report that having “such a strong organization behind me” will help in a “very contentious political environment.” Herndon said that with Emily’s List’s support and the six other Democratic women running for office, “we’ll be able to come up with good strong policies.”

Herndon faces Republican challenger Marcie May in November. Herndon sponsored legislation to study the creation of a Department of African American Affairs in the 2024 legislature as well as a bill to provide additional funding to the University of New Mexico Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. In 2023 she cosponsored legislation that would have established an Indigenous crime victims reparations law but it didn’t pass.

Herndon said she believes that being able to make one’s own reproductive healthcare decisions could be an issue in her race because of a philosophical difference between herself and her opponent. 

“I do believe women are very concerned about their reproductive healthcare. I do think it’ll be a major issue and something they should always consider. Look at Alabama [where the state Supreme Court ruled that cells used for IVF treatment are ‘children’]. Women make up the majority of this state and it will be a big issue to look at and it will make a big difference for women in this state,” she said.

Rep. Kathleen Holmes Cates

Kathleen Holmes Cates represents HD 44 which encompasses parts of Rio Rancho, Corrales and northwest Albuquerque. She first ran in 2022 in an open race and defeated her Republican opponent by 297 votes.

Two Republicans are running in the Republican primary in June. Holmes Cates faces the winner of that primary in the November election.

Holmes Cates said that the Emily’s List endorsement is a “stamp of approval for women candidates” and that more women need to be in elected office.

“Emily’s List is building a systematic approach to protecting women by making sure they have a voice in government and the ability to make their own decisions,” she said.

Holmes Cates said she believes reproductive rights should “play a role in everyone’s race.”

“Voters should take a look at my record and the things I’ve accomplished with Health and Human Services, water and housing. At the end of the day, we have to have representation in that Roundhouse to stay strong for women,” she said.

Holmes Cates has been in office since 2022. She said she has not sponsored reproductive rights legislation during her time in office but she has voted for the reproductive rights bills that passed and were enacted in 2023. 

“We want to make sure ourselves, our daughters, our granddaughters are able to make decisions about their lives and when they want to be a parent, so they need to vote,” she said.

Rep. Charlotte Little

Charlotte Little, of San Felipe Pueblo, represents HD 68 in the northwest corner of Albuquerque. Little ran for the first time in 2022 and beat her Republican opponent in an open race by 35 votes. She faces the winner of the Republican primary in June.

Little cosponsored Reproductive and Gender Affirming Health bill in 2023. She also cosponsored a bill to help recruit sexual assault service providers and a bill that enables menstrual products to be provided for free in public school restrooms in 2023. The menstrual products bill passed the legislature and was enacted last year. The recruitment bill did not make it to the House floor.

Little called the Emily’s List “really meaningful” and said the endorsement shows that she is “a woman of my word.” 

“I take action and being in the legislature allows me to take action and I can’t do this without colleagues,” she said.

Little said she expects to see a turnout of women voters. She said she hears from her constituents that reproductive rights matters.

“Each one of them, I don’t think there has been one woman [who she’s talked to] who isn’t concerned about protecting their right to determine their bodily autonomy. It’s critical,” she said.

Emily’s List also endorsed Rep. Cynthia Borrego, who represents HD 17 west of the Rio Grande River in Albuquerque, south of Corrales. Borrego ran for the open seat in 2022 and defeated the Republican challenger by 651 votes. She faces Republican challenger Joshua Neal in November.

And the organization also endorsed Rep. Tara Jaramillo, who represents HD 38, which encompasses a long stretch east of I-25 from Socorro to northern Las Cruces. Jaramillo won the November election in 2022 by 123 votes over her Republican opponent. She faces former Rep. Rebecca Dow, a Republican, in November. Dow previously won the seat every election since 2016. Dow did not run for the seat in 2022 because she ran unsuccessfully for governor.

We're ad free

That means that we rely on support from readers like you. Help us keep reporting on the most important New Mexico Stories by donating today.

Related

Effort to challenge six laws enacted last year comes to an end

Effort to challenge six laws enacted last year comes to an end

Earlier this month, the New Mexico Supreme Court denied and dismissed the effort to challenge six laws enacted in 2023. The New Mexico Supreme…
Governor to call special session for public safety legislation this summer

Governor to call special session for public safety legislation this summer

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that she will call the Legislature into a special session this summer to address public safety legislation that did…
Emily’s List endorses seven candidates for Legislature

Emily’s List endorses seven candidates for Legislature

Emily’s List, a nonprofit that supports women candidates and reproductive rights, endorsed seven incumbents facing general election opponents in New Mexico legislative elections. All…
Two PFAS chemicals designated hazardous substances under Superfund law

Two PFAS chemicals designated hazardous substances under Superfund law

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a final rule Friday to designate two types of PFAS chemicals as hazardous substances. Those two chemicals are perfluorooctanoic…
BLM finalizes controversial public lands rule

BLM finalizes controversial public lands rule

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management finalized its controversial public lands rule on Thursday. This rule is controversial because it allows for conservation leasing…
Haaland signs order protecting sacred lands near Placitas

Haaland signs order protecting sacred lands near Placitas

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland signed an order on Thursday to withdraw more than 4,200 acres of land in Sandoval County near Placitas from mineral…
Amid new graduation requirements, what do high schoolers want to learn?

Amid new graduation requirements, what do high schoolers want to learn?

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican The main things that bring Brayan Chavez to school every day: Seeing, talking to and engaging with…
Special ed teachers hope lawmakers OK pay raises, admin changes

Special ed teachers hope lawmakers OK pay raises, admin changes

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican Brittany Behenna Griffith has a laundry list of adjectives to describe the ideal special education teacher:…
Lawmakers must find consensus on competing education spending plans

Lawmakers must find consensus on competing education spending plans

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican A challenging task awaits New Mexico lawmakers in the next 30 days: Reconciling three very different…
Health workers fear it’s profits before protection as CDC revisits airborne transmission

Health workers fear it’s profits before protection as CDC revisits airborne transmission

Amy Maxmen, KFF Health News Four years after hospitals in New York City overflowed with covid-19 patients, emergency physician Sonya Stokes remains shaken by…
Lujan Grisham, Biden admin announce $10 million in federal funds for tribes, pueblos

Lujan Grisham, Biden admin announce $10 million in federal funds for tribes, pueblos

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Friday $10 million in funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act was awarded to six tribal nations and…
Proposal to curb executive powers moves to House Judiciary

Proposal to curb executive powers moves to House Judiciary

The House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee discussed a potential constitutional amendment that seeks to limit the governor’s executive powers. The committee approved…
Abortion fund provider rebrands and holds open house

Abortion fund provider rebrands and holds open house

An abortion fund provider unveiled a rebrand and offered an open house in Las Cruces to celebrate the organization’s new name, mission and values. …
Stansbury introduces judicial ethics bill on U.S. Supreme Court steps

Stansbury introduces judicial ethics bill on U.S. Supreme Court steps

U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury announced a bill on Thursday that would, if enacted, establish judicial ethics to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Judicial Ethics…
Politics and abortion, how much will it matter?

Politics and abortion, how much will it matter?

At the national level, abortion is still a high-stakes issue with both major presidential candidates talking about it in their campaigns, but it may…
Abortion fund provider rebrands and holds open house

Abortion fund provider rebrands and holds open house

An abortion fund provider unveiled a rebrand and offered an open house in Las Cruces to celebrate the organization’s new name, mission and values. …
Politics and abortion, how much will it matter?

Politics and abortion, how much will it matter?

At the national level, abortion is still a high-stakes issue with both major presidential candidates talking about it in their campaigns, but it may…
How the AZ Supreme Court decision on abortion impacts New Mexico

How the AZ Supreme Court decision on abortion impacts New Mexico

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that an 1864 abortion ban is enforceable, throwing another state bordering New Mexico into the situation of…
Effort to challenge six laws enacted last year comes to an end

Effort to challenge six laws enacted last year comes to an end

Earlier this month, the New Mexico Supreme Court denied and dismissed the effort to challenge six laws enacted in 2023. The New Mexico Supreme…
Vasquez calls out Republicans for ‘inaction’ on border policy

Vasquez calls out Republicans for ‘inaction’ on border policy

U.S. Rep. Gabriel “Gabe” Vasquez, a Democrat who represents the state’s 2nd Congressional District along the U.S.-Mexico border, cosponsored a resolution on Monday calling…
Politics and abortion, how much will it matter?

Politics and abortion, how much will it matter?

At the national level, abortion is still a high-stakes issue with both major presidential candidates talking about it in their campaigns, but it may…
Two PFAS chemicals designated hazardous substances under Superfund law

Two PFAS chemicals designated hazardous substances under Superfund law

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a final rule Friday to designate two types of PFAS chemicals as hazardous substances. Those two chemicals are perfluorooctanoic…
New Mexico Voices for Children has new leadership

New Mexico Voices for Children has new leadership

New Mexico Voices for Children, an organization that focuses on tax policy and how it impacts children in poverty, has new leadership. Gabrielle Uballez…
Abortion fund provider rebrands and holds open house

Abortion fund provider rebrands and holds open house

An abortion fund provider unveiled a rebrand and offered an open house in Las Cruces to celebrate the organization’s new name, mission and values. …

GET INVOLVED

© 2023 New Mexico Political Report