N.M. redistricting plan faces debate by full state senate
A proposal to shift the borders of New Mexico’s three congressional districts will be debated by the full state Senate now that two committees, Rules and Judiciary, have approved it. The Associated Press reports:
Sen. Linda Lopez, an Albuquerque Democrat and rules committee chairwoman, said the proposal was designed to keep current congressional districts mostly intact and to honor the requests of New Mexico’s tribes and pueblos, which will remain scattered among all three districts.
Brian Sanderoff, a redistricting consultant for the Legislature, described the proposal to lawmakers as “status quo oriented.”
All Democrats in both committees voted in favor of the proposal, and all but one Republican (in the Judiciary Committee) voted against it.
Republicans are objecting to the plan because it increases Democratic strength in the already blue-leaning 1st District, which encompasses Albuquerque and the surrounding metropolitan area. Democrats also hold sway over the northern 3rd District, containing Sante Fe and much of the state’s Native American population, while the GOP controls the southern 2nd District.
Another objection to the plan is that it divides Roosevelt County, currently in the 3rd District, by shifting rural parts of the county into the 2nd District. However, the plan would unify Santa Fe County and Valencia County in the 3rd and 2nd Districts, respectively.