A New Mexico state judge approved a Congressional redistricting plan on Thursday that makes no significant shifts in the lines or competitiveness of the state’s three districts.
The Albuquerque-based 1st district, currently held by Rep. Martin Heinrich (D), who is running for Senate, will remain the most competitive, while Rep. Steve Pearce’s (R) 2nd district and Rep. Ben Ray Luján’s (D) 3rd district will continue leaning in their respective parties’ favor.
Judge James Hall adopted the plan that made the least changes over two others, including one that would have increased the number of Latino voters in the southern 2nd district, according to the Associated Press.
Because the state has a Democratic Legislature and Republican governor, there was never much hope that a compromise could be hashed out through the regular legislative process, so few were surprised when redistricting ended up in the courts. But this plan, according to the Albuquerque Journal, was supported by both Gov. Susana Martinez (R) and a group of Democrats, and Hall ultimately picked it because it moved the fewest number of people to a new district.
With Heinrich running for Senate, the 1st will be the district to watch, and there are three Democrats and three Republicans currently in the race.
On the Democratic side are former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez, state Sen. Eric Griego and Bernalillo County Commissioner Michelle Lujan Grisham. Republicans running include Albuquerque City Councilor Dan Lewis, former state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones and retired Army Sgt. Gary Smith.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.