By Tom Wright

Nov 14, 2020 Updated Nov 16, 2020

Brian Egolf, speaker of New Mexico’s House of Representatives, has reacted to the loss of the 2nd Congressional District seat to Republican Yvette Herrell by promising to redraw the district in favor of party progressives. This ignores the choice of moderate Democrats who voted for the Republican candidate.

Democrats outnumber Republicans in the district but tend to be more conservative than their fellow party members in Doña Ana, Santa Fe and Bernalillo counties.

Democrats have won the House seat twice in 40 years but failed to get reelected in both instances. Progressive Democrats spent hundreds of thousands of dollars targeting five moderate Democrats in the state House and Senate and did manage to defeat their longtime and most powerful Sen. John Arthur Smith in the primary. However, many Democrats in his 35th district preferred and voted for the more conservative Republican candidate, Crystal Diamond, who defeated the progressive Neomi Martinez-Parra. Diamond will be the first Republican to hold that seat in 65 years.

Progressives have slapped the 2nd Congressional District’s moderate Democrats in the face by unseating Smith, who was a tight-fisted and regular check on state spending. His moderate Democrat wing has reacted by staying with their more conservative principals, voting with and for Republicans.

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