New Mexico serves as a critical Southwestern access point for reproductive health, including abortions throughout pregnancy. While Democrats already held a trifecta in New Mexico before the 2020 elections, conservative Democrats have historically blocked critical legislation related to reproductive health and abortion access.
Continuing our work from previous cycles, and after seven conservative Democrats voted to protect an outdated pre-Roe abortion ban, in 2020 NIRH Action Fund partnered with Forward Together Action and Planned Parenthood Votes New Mexico to support their program in both the primary and general elections to engage and activate voters, and hold the conservative Democrats accountable for their bad votes. NIRH Action Fund’s partners implemented a political program that included mail, digital ads, texting, and phone banking.
In the primary, all seven conservative Democrats attracted challengers, and five of those pro-choice challengers won. Among the ousted incumbents were two of the most powerful members of the state senate—Senate President Pro Tempore Mary Kay Papen and Chair of the Finance Committee John Arthur Smith–who had used their positions of power to stymie progress on reproductive freedom.
In the general election, NIRH Action Fund was able to help secure legislative majorities fully supportive of reproductive freedom. In the Senate, five seats were gained, including three of the more progressive Democrats who won their races (SD5-Leo Jaramillo, SD28-Siah Correa Hemphill, SD38 Carrie Hamblen) and two critical Republican-held seats that flipped to Democratic control (SD10-Katy Duhigg, SD23-Harold Pope Jr.). In the House, all of the more progressive Democrats who replaced more conservative members of their caucus, whom NIRH Action Fund supported in 2018, were reelected (HD13-Patricial Roybal Caballero, HD33-Michaela Lara Cadena, HD41-Susan Herrera, HD43-Christine Chandler, HD46-Andrea Romero).
A mailer for Siah Correa Hemphill