By Nicole Maxwell, New Mexico Political Report

The bench trial alleging egregious gerrymandering in the 2nd Congressional District has ended.

Arguments in the case that Ninth Judicial District Court Judge Fred T. van Soelen heard in Lovington ended Thursday. Van Soelen said he needed more evidence from the New Mexico Legislature prior to making a judgment in the case, according to reporting from Source NM.

This evidence includes text messages and emails.

The case came following the decennial Census that showed fewer people living in southern New Mexico, which tends to vote Republican. The 2nd Congressional District was expanded into Albuquerque’s South Valley. Albuquerque tends to vote more Democratic.

Republicans have questioned the map for the 2nd Congressional District since its inception in 2021 and is still questioned by then-Rep. Yvette Herrell, a Republican from Alamogordo who represented the district until this year, in her loss to Rep. Gabe Vasquez, a Democrat from Las Cruces.

Soelen has until Oct. 6 to make a decision in the case, he is awaiting further evidence to be submitted from the state legislature.

This story originally appeared in the New Mexico Political Report, a non-profit newsroom covering state government and politics. It is reprinted here, with permission, as a part of our commitment to bringing readers the best in local independent news.

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