Staff Writer Matthew Klein co-authored this report.

A state district judge on Friday ruled that New Mexico’s congressional map, which Democrats drew last cycle in their successful bid to win all three House seats, isn’t such an egregious gerrymander that it violates the state constitution. Republicans have appealed the decision to the New Mexico Supreme Court, but as it stands, the current map looks likely to stay in place in 2024.

The ruling marks yet another setback for New Mexico Republicans, who badly want to wrest back the state’s southern 2nd District in 2024.

Republicans lost their short-lived majority in the state Legislature in 2016, as opposition to Donald Trump dialed up Democrats’ dominance in the state. When Republican Gov. Susana Martinez was termed out of office in 2018, Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham replaced her. Meanwhile, longtime Rep. Steve Pearce, who left his seat in the 2nd District in order to run against Grisham, saw Democrats flip his open seat. In 2020, Republicans had high hopes for TV weatherman Mark Ronchetti, a well-funded Senate candidate, and even higher hopes for

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