“I could not be more proud to be elected to Congress by my fellow New Mexicans. Whether you voted for me or not, I will fight my heart out for you, because public service is a sacred responsibility that I will never take for granted.” Following his election to Congress in November 2022, Gabe Vasquez Tweeted (11/9/22):
BACKGROUND + EXPERIENCE
Vasquez is a first-generation American who grew up in the borderlands with his mother who worked hard to support the family. She showed him the value of hard work and the struggle to achieve the American Dream. As the first in his family to be born in the United States, Vasquez worked to make a positive difference in his community and in the lives of others. Growing up, Vasquez lived on both sides of the border and spent much of his time in his grandfather’s TV repair shop in the Chaveña neighborhood of Ciudad Juarez. He saw firsthand the important cross-border connections and relationships that support families and businesses in New Mexico.
Vasquez served as executive director of the Las Cruces Hispano Chamber of Commerce, represented Sen. Martin Heinrich as his Southwest district representative, worked in public lands conservation, and as a policy advocate promoting child welfare and family wellbeing at the federal level.
In 2017, Vasquez was elected to the Las Cruces City Council, defeating the chair of the local Tea Party with over 70% of the vote. In this role, he delivered millions of dollars in investment to create and improve parks, updated the district’s infrastructure, promoted policy that created thousands of jobs, and helped craft a comprehensive development plan focused on lifting families out of poverty.
Vasquez defeated first-term incumbent Yvette Herrell in 2022 in his first bid for Congress. He won by a narrow margin of .7% - just 1300 votes - in this Biden +6 district. He raised $3,671,959 for that race which was $754,118 less than Herrell raised.
ON THE ISSUES
An indication of Rep. Vasquez’s priorities is found in the Gabe for Congress Website supporting his 2022 race: “Gabe is running for Congress to be a champion for working families and to build an economy that benefits everyone. Gabe will do this by creating high-quality, good-paying jobs, helping New Mexico families deal with the rising cost of living, ensuring all New Mexicans have access to affordable and high-quality health care, combating climate change, and conserving public lands and natural resources to capitalize on the district’s growing outdoor recreation economy… the work doesn’t stop until all New Mexicans have meaningful opportunities to raise happy, healthy families and pass on their traditions to future generations. ..”
Other of Vasquez’s positions include:
support for policies that cut taxes on working families while lowering the cost of healthcare, childcare, and utilities
encourages transition to clean energy like wind and solar.
opposition to attempts by Republicans to ban access to abortion, birth control, or to prevent women from having the right to choose.
support for immigration reform to protect DREAMERS and provide hard-working families with a permanent path to citizenship, while ensuring a safe and secure border.
supports investment in veterans and veterans’ services especially in rural New Mexico and Native American communities.
supports police reform, not police defunding.
understands and upholds tribal sovereignty; respects and honors the government-to-government relationship that exists between New Mexico’s Native American communities and the federal government
POLITICS IN NEW MEXICO
Democrats control both of New Mexico’s Senate seats and all three of the state’s seats in the House of Representatives. The current governor is Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham. She was re-elected in 2022 with 52.4% of the vote. Both the State Senate and the State House are controlled by Democrats. U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D) will run for re-election in 2024.
The district serves the southern half of New Mexico including Los Cruces, Roswell, and the southern quarter of Albuquerque. It is the fifth largest district in the nation and is the largest that does not cover an entire state. The district’s residents are 55% Hispanic and 5.5% Native American. District 02 had historically been a Republican stronghold, but redistricting has made it competitive, moving from Trump+12 to Biden+6.
COMMITTEES + CAUCUSES
New Democrat Coalition
Gabe Vasquez has $22,777 cash on hand as he prepares for the 2024 election cycle.