Last Updated July 10, 2003
108th Lineup: 2 R, 1 D
107th Lineup: 2 R, 1 D
District Map: Click here
The boundaries of New Mexico's three congressional districts have been substantially the same since 1982, and seem likely to continue that way. Control of the redistricting process in 2001 was split between the Democratic legislature and Republican Governor Gary Johnson. In June 2001 the legislature passed a plan that would make the 1st District, held by Republican Heather Wilson, more Democratic. Johnson vetoed it. In September 2001 the legislature passed a plan that would make the 2d District, held by Republican Joe Skeen, more Democratic. Johnson vetoed it. Republicans had already taken the issue to court. A federal court decided to let the state court handle the issue. In January 2002, state District Judge Frank Allen, a Democrat, imposed his own plan. He said he was reluctant to make major changes and his plan shifted only 22,000 people into different districts. Democrats were disappointed; Republicans were pleased.
In February 2003 state Senate President Richard Romero, who lost to Wilson in 2002, was pressing the legislature to redstrict the House seats once again; Democratic Governor Bill Richardson would surely sign a plan. But national Democrats urged caution. House Majority Whip Tom DeLay had been pressing for another redistricting in Texas, where Republicans now controlled the legislature and held the governorship; Governor Rick Perry and the legislative leaders were at the time reluctant to take on the issue. New Mexico has only three seats, and the best New Mexico Democrats could do would be to change the delegation from 2-1 Republican to 2-1 Democratic. But Texas has 32 seats, and under the current districting plan Democrats won a 17-15 edge in 2002. A partisan Republican redistricting could easily produce a 20-12 Republican edge. In the end, the New Mexico session concluded in March with no new congressional districting plan.
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