Vasquez, Garcia Holmes win congressional primaries - Albuquerque Journal

Vasquez, Garcia Holmes win congressional primaries

Gabe Vasquez and Michelle Garcia-Holmes. (Courtesy the candidates)

New Mexico’s fall congressional races came into focus Tuesday night after the candidates marched to respective victories in the contested primaries in the state’s 1st and 2nd congressional districts.

With about 29% of precincts fully reporting at press time, Michelle Garcia Holmes, a Republican candidate in the 1st Congressional District, was leading 59% to 41% over Louie Sanchez, a medical sales representative and the owner of Caliber’s Indoor Shooting Range. Gabe Vasquez, a Democrat in the 2nd Congressional District, had amassed a 76% to 24% advantage over Darshan Patel, a family medicine physician in Lovington, based on partial, unofficial election results.

Journal Pollster Brian Sanderoff called the races for Vasquez and Garcia Holmes late Tuesday.

Those were the only contested races across the state’s three congressional districts.

Garcia Holmes, a retired Albuquerque police officer who ran unsuccessfully for the seat in 2020, will take on Democratic Rep. Melanie Stansbury, who was not challenged in the primary.

The GOP candidate said the biggest issues facing the district are crime and what she calls a “southern border crisis.” She said inflation will be a point of emphasis during her general election campaign.

“I think New Mexico has a tremendous opportunity to turn red this year because we had the pendulum swing in our favor,” she said. “The voters want something different. … They want somebody who is going to do something about crime, about gas prices, about inflation.”

She celebrated her nomination in a conference room near Downtown Albuquerque with her family and supporters.

Voters want “common sense solutions to the problems we have,” she said.

After securing his party’s nomination, Vasquez will take on Rep. Yvette Herrell, the state’s lone Republican member of Congress, in the 2nd Congressional District, which includes much of southern New Mexico and stretches into Albuquerque’s West Side and the South Valley. Herrell had no primary challenger.

Vasquez, a Las Cruces city councilor and first-generation American, celebrated his victory at a bar in Downtown Las Cruces with his supporters, a mariachi band and members of his “mixed-status” family, some of whom crossed the border for the festivities.

“I think voters are looking for (a) candidate that will fight for them everyday, a candidate that they can trust isn’t beholden to special interests, that isn’t going to Congress to grow their wealth, or to enrich their corporate lobbyists and donors,” he said in an interview. “And I think that’s who they have in Gabe Vasquez as a candidate.”

Vasquez said the biggest issue facing the district is the economy. To address that issue, he said he would work to raise the minimum wage, lower health and child care costs and prioritize the transition to renewable energy.

Meanwhile, the state’s 3rd Congressional District — which represents the northern New Mexico and the eastern part of the state to Hobbs — will be a rematch of the 2020 race. Democratic Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández is currently in her first term after being elected in 2020. She will again face Republican Alexis Martinez Johnson, who ran for the seat in 2020.

Both Leger Fernández and Martinez Johnson ran unopposed in Tuesday’s primary.

This year’s primary and general elections are being fought in new battlegrounds. The candidates are facing off in a recently redrawn congressional map, which was passed by Democrats in the Legislature on a party-line vote and signed by the governor late last year.

FiveThirtyEight.com, owned by ABC News, after the redistricting ranked New Mexico’s 2nd and 3rd congressional districts, held by Herrell and Leger Fernández, respectively, as highly competitive.

Herrell’s district, previously rooted in southern New Mexico, now includes parts of Albuquerque’s West Side and the South Valley. Fernández’s district, previously based in the northern part of the state, now includes typically conservative strongholds in eastern New Mexico.

The 1st Congressional District is more rural than it was prior to redistricting.

The general election is Nov. 8.

Home » 2022 election » Vasquez, Garcia Holmes win congressional primaries


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Landmark same-sex marriage bill wins Senate passage
Nation
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate passed ... WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate passed bipartisan legislation Tuesday to protect same-sex marriages, an extraordinary sign of shifting national politics on the issue and ...
2
Pulisic goal advances US in World Cup with 1-0 ...
Nation
DOHA, Qatar (AP) -- Christian Pulisic ... DOHA, Qatar (AP) -- Christian Pulisic kicked the ball, scored the goal and crashed into the goalkeeper, a collision that sent the American star ...
3
Mother grieves loss of teenage daughter killed in hit-and-run
ABQnews Seeker
Vehicular homicide, aggravated DWI charges filed Vehicular homicide, aggravated DWI charges filed
4
Police say he shot at their drone. Soon after, ...
ABQnews Seeker
Detectives arrested an Albuquerque man who ... Detectives arrested an Albuquerque man who allegedly first shot at a police drone and then shot at officers that had followed him for several ...
5
End of the line: Why some New Mexicans may ...
ABQnews Seeker
NM Medicaid enrollees warned: Yearly requalifications ... NM Medicaid enrollees warned: Yearly requalifications on horizon again
6
Nursing home found negligent in resident's choking death after ...
ABQnews Seeker
Jury awards more than $750,000 in ... Jury awards more than $750,000 in damages
7
Judge, pets killed by husband in murder-suicide
ABQnews Seeker
Diane Albert, resident of Los Ranchos, ... Diane Albert, resident of Los Ranchos, mourned by officials and friends
8
Legislation aims to add protections for renters
ABQnews Seeker
Councilor says new bill would regulate ... Councilor says new bill would regulate fees, provide information up front
9
ABQ man sentenced in fatal shooting of unborn baby
ABQnews Seeker
Mother, 17, is now unable to ... Mother, 17, is now unable to have children due to her injuries
10
CYFD facing familiar issues, despite changes and a budget ...
ABQnews Seeker
Some 86% of the nearly 1,900 ... Some 86% of the nearly 1,900 children in the agency's custody now placed in foster homes, other settings