Officials express optimism, concern over impending State Legislature redistricting vote

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  • David Gallegos
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U.S. House seats in New Mexico could stay the same or see changes after Dec. 6, said Jerry Fanning , Eddy County’s public and government affairs director.

Fanning said the New Mexico Legislature tentatively scheduled a special meeting in early December to review and possibly approve one of three redistricting maps approved by the New Mexico Citizen Redistricting Committee.

“We all know the Legislature when they meet will have the prerogative to change those things and do what they do with them,” he said during the Nov. 16 meeting of the Eddy County Board of County Commissioners.

More: City of Carlsbad and Eddy County raise concerns over redistricting maps

State Sen. David Gallegos (R-41) said the special meeting could last two weeks.

Fanning said the Legislature created the committee earlier this year and input was received across New Mexico for recommendations to redraw boundaries for New Mexico’s three U.S. House of Representatives seats based on 2020 Census data.

The committee approved three maps. Map A maintains the status quo. Map E moves Lincoln County into the First Congressional District and places parts of Albuquerque in the Second Congressional District.

A proposed Congressional redistricting map approved by New Mexico's Citizen Redistricting Committee.
A proposed Congressional redistricting map approved by New Mexico's Citizen Redistricting Committee.

Map H places Roswell in the First Congressional District and parts of Lea County in the Second and Third Congressional District. In that map Congressional District 2 runs from portions of Lea County to western New Mexico and includes portions of Albuquerque, according to the committee’s website.

“I don’t see what Hobbs has to do with Santa Fe and communities up north,” Gallegos said.

More: Public comment favors status quo in congressional redistricting

Fanning said Eddy County would watch the Legislative Rules Committee during the special session.

“They will be the ones that will probably craft and put together what will be presented during the special session,” Fanning said.

“We have some hope there that Sen. Stuart Ingle (R-27) who is the ranking member is a friend of southeastern New Mexico and he’s been through this process before. He understands the process and hopefully he will have some influence on how that process takes place and keeps it on track.”

A proposed Congressional redistricting map drawn up by the New Mexico Citizen's Redistricting Committee.
A proposed Congressional redistricting map drawn up by the New Mexico Citizen's Redistricting Committee.

Gallegos said the proposed maps were guides for the Legislature. Fanning hoped the Legislature made a fair decision on redistricting.

“I believe Republicans will have our work cut out for us during the redistricting session,” said State Rep. Randall Pettigrew (R-61).

“Members of the left have made it clear throughout the redistricting process that they intend to secure New Mexico districts in such a way that the urban communities will control the rural communities ability to have their voices heard,” he said.

More: Though early in the redistricting process, advocating for the rural voters happens now

A proposed Congressional redistricting map drawn up by the New Mexico Citizen Redistricting Committee.
A proposed Congressional redistricting map drawn up by the New Mexico Citizen Redistricting Committee.

Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at MSmith@currentargus.com or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on Carlsbad Current-Argus: Concern optimism noted over congressional redistricting vote

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