After eight months within the state Senate, Democrat Siah Correa Hemphill is contemplating a marketing campaign for Congress in New Mexico’s solely Republican district.
“What I can say, for transparency, is I’m exploring it,” Correa Hemphill mentioned in an interview.
Democrats to date wouldn’t have any introduced candidates within the 2nd Congressional District, which stretches throughout the southern half of New Mexico.
Correa Hemphill, 49, of Silver Metropolis says she was approached about working by Democrats on the state and nationwide stage. She wouldn’t be extra particular.
Republican Yvette Herrell of Alamogordo is the incumbent congresswoman within the 2nd District. Herrell final yr ousted Democratic Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, who served a single two-year time period.
Republicans normally are the underdogs in New Mexico. Democrats management each homes of the Legislature, most statewide places of work and 4 of New Mexico’s 5 seats in Congress.
The exception is the 2nd Congressional District. Republicans have held that seat for 36 of the final 40 years.
Not often have Democrats run robust campaigns within the 2nd District. The one two occasions they received it throughout that four-decade stretch have been when the seat was open.
Because the incumbent, Herrell can be favored within the 2022 election. Nonetheless, she’s given Democrats causes to hope an upset is feasible.
Herrell’s first act in Congress was to oppose certifying Joe Biden’s victory within the presidential election, although he received New Mexico and the nationwide race by extensive margins. She additionally voted in opposition to establishing a bipartisan fee to analyze the Jan. 6 riot on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of the defeated president, Donald Trump.
Herrell believes her devotion to Trump can solely assist her. Trump carried the 2nd District by 12 proportion factors final yr. His efficiency benefited Herrell, who simply defeated Torres Small after shedding to her in 2018.
Cash may even move to Herrell. She had nearly $700,000 in her marketing campaign account as summer time started, in keeping with her final submitting with the Federal Election Fee. Conservative teams will spend extra to assist her, as Republicans attempt to retake the U.S. Home of Representatives.
Democrats now management the chamber 220 to 212. Three seats are vacant.
Correa Hemphill is new to politics, although she made an instantaneous splash final yr.
Liberals urged Correa Hemphill to run for the seat in state Senate District 28, which was represented by conservative Democrat Gabriel Ramos, an incumbent by appointment. Ramos had angered liberal members of his celebration by voting to maintain a 1969 regulation criminalizing abortion on the books.
Correa Hemphill proved to be an efficient campaigner. She ousted Ramos within the Democratic main.
Ramos responded by throwing his assist behind Republican Jimbo Williams, her opponent within the normal election.
Wiillams ran a mud-slinging marketing campaign in opposition to Correa Hemphill, a faculty psychologist. He falsely claimed Correa Hemphill collected paid depart from the Silver Consolidated Faculty District whereas working at one other job.
The Republican Get together ran different advertisements blaming Correa Hemphill for a mine closure that occurred when she was 10 years previous.
She defeated Williams in a detailed race. Serving within the Senate, Correa Hemphill mentioned, is extra enjoyable than campaigning for the workplace.
She obtained an appointment to the Finance Committee, a rarity for a freshman senator. The ugliness of Williams’ marketing campaign in opposition to her did not bitter Correa Hemphill on working with Republicans.
She co-sponsored with Sen. Ron Griggs, R-Alamogordo, a invoice that may funnel extra public cash to large-scale group financial growth initiatives. She additionally teamed with Sen. Crystal Diamond, R-Elephant Butte, on a invoice funding an ombudsman to assist rural and frontier communities navigate state authorities.
Each measures have been signed into regulation by Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
Nonetheless, Correa Hemphill is aware of she could be open to assaults if she runs for Congress.
She filed for chapter in 2004, when her son, Nicholas, then 4 years previous, was identified with bone most cancers and his left leg was amputated. Nicholas has Rothmund-Thomson syndrome, a genetic dysfunction.
Supporters of Ramos criticized Correa Hemphill as a result of she was a Republican, one thing she might anticipate extra of in a congressional marketing campaign.
“I did not know loads about politics after I was in my 20s,” Correa Hemphill as soon as advised me of her time as a Republican. “I had a toddler with particular wants in 1996, and I began to shift my worldview after that.”
She and her husband nonetheless have two kids in class. They’re 8 and 14.
Couple household duties with the shortage of environment friendly air journey from Silver Metropolis to Washington, and the challenges of her serving in Congress mount.
Correa Hemphill mentioned she has conferences this week concerning the prospect of a congressional marketing campaign.
“I have not actually given myself a agency deadline to resolve. The choice will develop into clearer quickly sufficient,” she mentioned.
If Correa Hempill decides to run, Democrats would possibly finish their hunt for a candidate in Silver Metropolis. The very last thing celebration honchos need is a money-draining main whereas Herrell sits on the sideline, gathering more money.