A "Vote Here" sign at the Otero County Fairgrounds in Alamogordo.

Arguments in gerrymandering trial end, judge waiting for evidence

The bench trial alleging egregious gerrymandering in the 2nd Congressional District has ended. Arguments in the case that Ninth Judicial District Court Judge Fred T. van Soelen heard in Lovington ended Thursday.  Van Soelen said  he needed more evidence from the New Mexico Legislature prior to making a judgment in the case, according to reporting from Source NM. This evidence includes text messages and emails. The case came following the decennial Census that showed fewer people living in southern New Mexico, which tends to vote Republican.

Legislative Newsletter: The race to 2024, so far

Want to get this in your email before it posts on the site? Sign up here. Hello fellow political junkies! The 2024 New Mexico General Election has heated up with more people announcing their candidacy for both federal and state offices. On Thursday, Greg Cunningham, R-Albuquerque, announced his intention for a rematch against District 29 incumbent Rep. Joy Garratt, D-Albuquerque.

A "Vote Here" sign at the Otero County Fairgrounds in Alamogordo.

Poll: CD2 race extremely close a year ahead of voting

As New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District looks like it will be a rematch of the 2022 race, incumbent Gabe Vasquez, a Democrat, very narrowly trails former U.S. Rep. Yvette Herrell, a Republican. The poll, conducted by SurveyUSA for KOB-TV, found that 46 percent of likely voters would vote for Herrell and 45 percent would vote for Vasquez. That leaves 9 percent who are currently, over a year from the start of voting, undecided. Related: Vasquez announces reelection bid in southern NM congressional district

A large swath of those surveyed did not have opinions on Herrell or Vasquez. When asked if they favored the candidates, 39 percent said they held a favorable opinion of Herrell, with 32 percent saying unfavorable and 23 percent saying neutral, with 8 percent saying no opinion.

Rep. Gabe Vasquez, D-NM, at a re-election campaign stop in Socorro September 16, 2023.

Vasquez announces reelection bid in southern NM congressional district

The battleground 2nd Congressional District in southern New Mexico appears to be getting ready for a rematch between  incumbent Gabe Vasquez and former Rep. Yvette Herrell. Vasquez, a Democrat, announced his re-election campaign Saturday during a tour around the district. “I am running for re-election because New Mexico’s second congressional district deserves someone who puts politics aside and puts the people of New Mexico first,” Vasquez said in a news release “The bottom line is that we need an economy that works for New Mexico. That means bringing down the cost of living and creating more good-paying jobs— there’s a lot more work left to be done. We can’t afford far-right extremism that gridlocks Congress.

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.

Xochitl Torres Small closer to being Deputy USDA Secretary

Former U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small is one step closer to being named Deputy Secretary of Agriculture following a hearing in the U.S. Senate Committee in Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. “Torres Small is well-qualified to serve as deputy secretary at USDA. She has shown herself to be a thoughtful leader while overseeing the rural development mission, and I believe those qualities will be an asset in this new role,” committee ranking member John Boozman, an Arkansas Republican, said. “Additionally, it will be beneficial for committee members to have someone who has served in Congress, who understands our role, as the second in charge at USDA. I encourage the Senate to move swiftly to confirm her as deputy secretary.”

Torres Small served in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District for one term.

Former Congressowman Yvette Herrell, R-Alamogordo, announced her candidacy for the 2nd Congressional District at a rally April 10, 2023.

Herrell announces candidacy to win back CD 2

The battleground 2nd Congressional District race has begun with Alamogordo Republican Yvette Herrell announcing her candidacy at an event Monday night at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces. Herrell’s announcement comes mere months after she lost the seat in the 2022 general election to Las Cruces Democrat Gabe Vazquez. “We don’t have a seat at the table. We don’t have anybody watching out for our ranchers,” Herrell said. “We have got to work on every single level: county, state, federal, local.

Biden signs Respect for Marriage Act into law

Amid much fanfare, President Joe Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act into law at the White House on Tuesday. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill last week by 258 to 169. The bill passed the U.S. Senate the week prior by 61 to 36 votes. The bill repeals the 1995 Defense of Marriage Act, which stated that marriage is solely between a man and a woman and denied federal benefits to same sex couples. Related: Respect for Marriage Act passes Congress: What it means for New Mexicans

The new law protects same-sex and interracial marriages by recognizing those marriages federally.

Respect for Marriage Act passes Congress: What it means for New Mexicans

The U.S. House passed the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that protects same sex and interracial marriage, on Thursday. The bill previously passed the U.S. Senate. President Joe Biden is expected to sign it. He has expressed his support, saying “love is love,” in a previous statement. The U.S. Senate passed the bill with bipartisan support, with 61 to 36 votes last week when 12 Republicans joined Democrats in voting for its passage.

Gabe Vasquez narrowly won the U.S. 2nd Congressional District seat in New Mexico in the 2022 Midterm Election.

Vasquez declares victory, Herrell concedes in close congressional race

After a close race for Congressional District 2, Democratic challenger Gabe Vasquez declared victory over Republican incumbent Yvette Herrell, who conceded. The unofficial vote count for the Congressional District 2 race showed Democrat Gabe Vasquez at 50.32 percent, or 96,556 votes, and 49.68 percent of the vote or 95,332 votes going to Republican incumbent Yvette Herrell. 

Update: The Associated Press projected Gabe Vasquez as the winner at 8:36 a.m. on Thursday. “Make no mistake about it, there’s nothing that happens in Washington that New Mexico can’t do better,” Vasquez said in a press release. “To everyone out there struggling, no matter whether you voted for me or not, please know this: I see you, I hear you, and I’ll fight my heart out for you, because public service is a sacred responsibility that I will never take for granted.”

Herrell conceded to Vasquez Wednesday afternoon. “While we are disappointed by the final results, I am incredibly proud of our team and the work we did serving our district, and I am grateful for the steadfast support of so many who helped us along the way,” Herrell said.