Eddy County offered input to a citizens committee appointed by the New Mexico Legislature to redraw political boundaries based on results from the 2020 U.S. Census.
The Citizen Redistricting Committee (CRC) sought input across New Mexico for a series of redrawn maps that must be presented to the Legislature by the end of October.
Oct. 5, Eddy County Board of County Commissioners offered thoughts on a series of maps released on the CRC website concerning New Mexico Senate and New Mexico House districts and U.S. House districts.
“Right now, we have multiple senators that look out for Eddy County and we have a great relationship with all of them. I think that having multiple voices is an important aspect, but that’s my opinion,” said Eddy County Manager Allen Davis.
He presented some of the conceptual maps to commissioners.
Davis said Concept A gave Eddy County two senators. One for 90 percent of Eddy County and a second which would represent southern Chaves County and portions of Artesia and northern Eddy County.
He said Concept B was, “very similar to Concept A. But, extends into southern Lea County.”
“For one senate district excludes parts of Hobbs and expands a little bit into Roswell,” Davis said.
More:City of Carlsbad: Understanding the redistricting process
The third idea, or Concept C, places Artesia and Carlsbad in the same senate district.
Davis said commissioners support multiple state senators representing Eddy County with at least three representing the County.
“The desire would be to have one of those senators be a resident of Eddy County,” he said.
Right now, Eddy County has representation from four state senators who do not live in the County. State Sen. Cliff Pirtle (R-32) represents portions of Otero, Chaves and Eddy counties and lives in Roswell. State Sen. Ron Griggs (R-34) from Alamogordo represents portions of Otero and Eddy counties, including parts of Carlsbad and Alamogordo. State Sen. David Gallegos (R-41) lives in Lea County and his district covers Lovington, Hobbs and Carlsbad. State Sen. Gay Kernan (R-42) lives in Hobbs and represents Artesia, Lovington, Hobbs and portions of Carlsbad.
“It is possible for a resident of Eddy County to become a State Senator in a regular election,” Davis said.
The New Mexico Legislature charged the CRC with adopting three district plans each for U.S. Congress, the State Legislature and other state offices required for redistricting.
Commissioners heard different CRC concepts for House Districts 54 and 55 and recommended nothing change for the two Eddy County districts. Artesia Republican James Townsend represents District 54 and Carlsbad Republican Cathryn Brown represents District 55.
More:What we learned from Eddy County 2020 census results
Commissioners recommended another CRC proposal for U.S. House District 2, which would start in Catron County on New Mexico’s westside and end in northeast New Mexico near the Colorado border.
Eddy County Public and Government Affairs Director Jerry Fanning said the CRC maps were concepts based on input received from New Mexico residents.
“One of the things this committee is assigned to do is to look at communities of interest and basically different ethnic groups,” he said. “There are other maps being considered.”
The U.S. Constitution requires a census of the population conducted every 10 years to apportion seats in Congress.
Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at [email protected] or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.