Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Already? Herrell Preps For Rematch With Dem Vasquez; Files With FEC Even Before Gabe Takes Oath  

Gabe Vasquez won't be sworn into office as the new southern congressional representative until January 3 but outgoing GOP Yvette Herrell is already dreading her loss of power and has essentially announced she will seek to unseat Gabe in 2024. 

The one term rep, who lost this month by a razor thin margin to Vasquez (50.34% to 49.66% or 1,342 votes), has filed  a Statement of Candidacy with the Federal Election Commission that will allow her to keep raising campaign funds and also puts on notice other Republicans who might be angling for the chance of being the GOP nominee.  

Even though the district now has a Democratic lean with about a third of the votes coming from new Dem precincts in Bernalillo County,  Herrell sees a silver lining in the election results, telling supporters in a fund-raising email before Thanksgiving:

. . . We lost this seat by less than 1% in a district that was intentionally re-drawn to take me out of office. . . In fact, we had amazing gains in every Democrat county – including Dona Ana where we took 43% of the vote--which was a five point gain from just two years ago!. . .We can see by our data that voter turnout, by both parties, was lower than anticipated, but sadly, lower in some of the large Republican counties that could possibly have tipped the scale. We know our work in Washington was not completed, and hundreds of people from all over the District and colleagues in Washington have asked me to stay in the fight. All options will be on the table--so stay tuned. 

Vasquez isn't doing any second guessing, telling his supporters a "rematch" is indeed in the cards: 

Gabe is preparing to serve New Mexico’s working families in Washington this January, but in the meantime, we need to rebuild our campaign’s funds to prepare for the rematch ahead.  

This has to be some sort of record for an early start to a campaign. Vasquez has barely had time to switch from blue jeans to blue ties. But the district will again be a national target and Herrell knows the ropes. In 2018 she narrowly lost a bid to Dem Xochitl Torres Small but came back in 2020 and defeated her. The big difference this time, however, is the redistricting that left the door open for Vasquez. 


Blog reader Kathryn Carroll comes with several questions about the early southern scramble: 

Herrell will be running for the next two years to win her old seat back. She's now lost two elections. Do you think she'll be primaried by some Republican in the newer part of the district in Bernalillo County? 

She could. An Hispanic Republican might be a better fit for the new district than Herrell whose association with Trump is also a major negative. She, of course, is hoping a legal challenge to the redistricting will prevail and the old borders will be restored. That's a long shot.

I wonder what she'll do the next two years? I wondered if she'd become a Republican House staffer and stay in Washington. 

She will likely raise money most of the time. Her family does have real estate interests that need tending, but we would expect Herrell to make campaigning and criticism of Vasquez nearly a full-time endeavor. As for becoming a staffer, that is a step too far down the ladder. 

The equally important question is what Vasquez will do in the next two years. He certainly does not look like a dud, pulling off a surprise upset and already showing convincing knowledge of the issues of the day. The Dems will be there for him. 

So it's a campaign before there's a congressman. That's a new one but campaigns are now like CNN. The news never ends. 


In a first draft Monday we had Republican Robert Aragon running against Dem Tim Keller for State Auditor in the wrong year. They faced each other in 2014. 

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