Sandoval County Democratic Leaders File Lawsuit Against County’s ‘Discriminatory And Partisan Redistricting Plan’

Sen. Brenda G. McKenna


BERNALILLO — A coalition of elected officials and community leaders in Sandoval County have filed a lawsuit against the Board of County Commissioners of Sandoval County to invalidate what they describe as the Board’s “discriminatory and partisan redistricting plan”.

The lawsuit, filed Monday, alleges that the Board’s redistricting plan, adopted by Republican Commissioners in December 2021 in the face of widespread community objection, illegally discriminates against non-white voters and props up Republican candidates.

The Plaintiffs include the Democratic Party of Sandoval County, New Mexico Sen. Brenda McKenna, New Mexico Rep. Daymon Ely, Sandoval County Commissioner Katherine Bruch, former County Treasurer and candidate for State Treasurer Laura Montoya, Aleta Paisano Suazo and Alexandria Piland.

“The failings of the new Sandoval County map highlight the critical need for independent, nonpartisan redistricting committees—at all levels of government,” Sen. McKenna said. “New Mexicans should not have to go to Court to get fair electoral representation.”

“Sandoval County’s commission districts should be designed to give representation to everyone, not to just one party or to one municipality,” Commissioner Bruch said. “The new map creates three solid Republican districts, putting control of our commission in the hands of dwindling minority of voters.”

“The new Sandoval County map is an attempt to silence the voices of Latino, Native, and rural people in Sandoval County,” former Treasurer Montoya said. “As the former treasurer of the County, I am concerned that this map forces these communities to compete for funding, making it harder for them to access critical resources.” 

“Fair and open elections are the hallmark for protection of voters’ rights in Sandoval County,” said Piland, chair of the Democratic Party of Sandoval County. “The commission failed to consult with county voters, and ignored the advice of their constituents, including the offering of fairer, more equitable maps of redrawn districts.”

The Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Kenneth H. Stalter and Theodore W. Barudin.

A copy of the complaint is attached.

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