Albuquerque – In a recent Axios article, New Mexico Hispanic Republicans were highlighted for their election 2022 efforts- this year a record-breaking number of Hispanic-conservatives are running for state legislative seats. Republican outreach to key Hispanic voters, and candidate recruitment comes on the heels of a recent Wall Street Journal poll that highlighted the growing gap between Hispanics and Democrats. The poll shows a 9% swing in favor of Republicans from Hispanic voters who no longer view progressive policies as representing their needs.
"The Republican Party of 2022 is a much more inclusive party than the one I first became involved with in 1999. We have made great strides, both state-wide and nationally, to elect Hispanic candidates. New Mexico can boast the fact that we elected the first Latina Governor in the nation,"said House Republican Whip, Rep. Rod Montoya (Farmington). "In the last decade, we have seen a steady stream of walk-away Hispanic Democrats changing their registration to Republican. Many are just tired of being looked down on and/or pitied for having the 'misfortune' of being Hispanic. In the last several years, Hispanic Republicans and Democrats alike, have started calling out the blatant disregard of our shared Hispanic culture, values and heritage by those who see us as merely a tool for their political purposes. Our very language has been appropriated by white-progressives who have re-named us with the term Latin-X instead of Latino or Hispanic."
Hispanic support for NM Democrats has been eroding rapidly for the past six months. In December 2021, state House Speaker Brian Egolf canceled an important Hispanic Land Grant and Cultural Affairs committee following a series of Hispanic lawmakers using their debate time in the redistricting special session to blast the proposed maps for splintering predominately Hispanic communities in Albuquerque to influence the vote in NM Congressional District 2.
"What gets lost in the debates we have in Santa Fe, is the fact that Hispanics do not have to fall in line with any political party. We are not tools for political gain, we are hardworking New Mexicans who want to see our state succeed," said State Rep. Martin Zamora (R-Clovis). "I said it in the House Chamber, and I will repeat it again -I am not a monster because I am a Republican. The rhetoric that 'all Hispanics should vote Democrat' is oppressive and I hope that more New Mexicans wake up in doing their research and vote their conscience to move our state forward."
The backlash following Egolf's cancellation of historic-Hispanic Land Grants and Acequias from representation was swift and fierce, with editorials and U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Lujan wading into the discussion on Hispanic representation. Following the media firestorm, the Albuquerque Journal reported on a letter sent to the House Democrat Caucus from state Rep. Miguel Garcia (D-Albuquerque) blasting "distasteful" and "elitist" Speaker Egolf. The letter from Rep. Garcia expressed frustrations that Democrat leadership was "cowardly and detached from the needs, issues, values and beliefs of our traditional Hispano communities."
"New Mexicans are ready for change. I hear it every day when talking to voters, I see it on people's faces at the gas pumps, you can feel that momentum at the grocery checkout line. New Mexicans have been sold a raw deal and we are paying an increased price for everything," said Zeke Rodriguez, Las Cruces Republican running for House District 37 in Doña Ana County. "Many Hispanics in our Las Cruces community have watched as the progressives have taken the community's support and used it to pass reckless policies that make each of our lives harder, while ensuring their coastal-donors' businesses are more profitable. Hispanics are a major voting-bloc in New Mexico and their dissatisfaction will certainly be the undoing of progressives."
With inflation hitting a record high in New Mexico of 11.9% or $6700 annualized cost per household, New Mexicans are seeing their bottom line shrink daily. Unmanageable inflation, increasing energy costs, and the nation's highest unemployment rate have formed a perfect storm of dissatisfaction towards progressive politicians. A national Axios-Ipsos Latino poll underscores the massive challenges that progressives like President Biden and NM Governor Lujan Grisham face with Hispanic communities in the midterms.
"Hispanic families and voters are being ignored if we do not fall in-line with the progressive-elites'agenda," said Nicole Chavez, Albuquerque Republican candidate for House District 28 in Bernalillo County. "From crime to inflation, the progressives keep passing Hispanic communities crumbs when we want a seat at the table to lead and fix the problems created by their short-sighted policies. When I initially became involved in politics, I tried reaching out to progressive lawmakers to talk about the tragedy my family experienced, in order to work together on commonsense solutions. I was completely ignored by these politicians and their party because my ideas did not align with their politics. I am seeing a shift in response when talking to voters- so many New Mexicans, across all demographics and party lines are ready to see newly elected representatives who value the needs of our communities instead of out-of-state donors."
A full list of all candidates running for office can be found on the Secretary of State's website.