The Struggle for the Soul of America: A Vasquez Win in New Mexico Can Help the Democrats Keep the House Majority

Next month’s midterm elections are now predicted to be much closer than anyone had thought they would be in early summer. Dave Wasserman of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report recently observed that the Democrats now could “stave off a Republican majority.”[1] In fact, according to USA Today, just 12 races will determine which party controls the House of Representatives in 2023.[2] (Go to to ascertain these 12 critical House contests.)

One of those contests is right here in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District, which now includes some of Albuquerque’s westside as well as all of southern New Mexico. Democrat Gabe Vasquez is running to unseat Rep. Yvette Herrell, a first-term, MAGA Republican. A Vasquez campaign poll has its candidate in the lead by a mere one percentage point.[3]

While the economy and inflation are considered top issues around the country, a woman’s right to choose, voting rights and the threats to democracy are playing an important role in many undecided voters’ decisions. This is particularly true with the largest bloc of voters, women over 50 who comprised 30% of the 2020 electorate according to a recent AARP survey.[4]

Here’s where Congresswoman Herrell stands on these critical issues. She voted ‘NO’ on:            

  • The John R Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021 (HR 4), which protects our elections from voter suppression
  • The Protecting Our Democracy Act (HR 5314), which addresses issues involving abuses of presidential powers, checks and balances and accountability
  • The Freedom to Vote Act (HR 5746 ), which protects and expands voter registration efforts
  • The Right to Contraception Act (H.R.8373 ), protects a person’s ability to assess contraception 
  • The Ensuring Access to Abortion Act of 2022  (H.R.8297), which prohibits interfering with a person’s ability to access out-of-state abortion services
  • The Women’s Health Protection Act of 2022 (H.R. 8296), which codifies Roe v. Wade into law[5]

Herrell is so radical that she even signed on to a national abortion ban that doesn’t offer exceptions for rape, incest, or the health of the woman.[6]

The two candidates could not be further apart on these key issues. Gabe Vasquez supports:

  • Ensuring safe, secure and fair elections
  • The right of every eligible American to vote and have his/her vote counted
  • Birth control
  • A woman’s right to choose[7]

If you want to support Gabe Vasquez’s campaign and the Democrats’ prospects of holding onto the House majority, go to his website ( and learn how you can help. Reach out to the people of NM District 2, especially women voters over 50. Let them know about these stark differences between the two candidates. Stress that their votes could determine whether a woman will have the right to choose as well as whether our democracy will even survive.

Bruce Berlin, J.D.

A retired, public sector ethics attorney, Berlin is the author of Breaking Big Money’s Grip on America (See, the founder of New Mexicans for Money Out of Politics, a former U.S. Institute of Peace fellow, and the founder and former executive director of The Trinity Forum for International Security and Conflict Resolution. He can be reached at

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