EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – A New Mexico Republican who blamed Democratic “gerrymandering” for losing her seat in Congress last year says she’ll make a bid to get it back in 2024.

Yvette Herrell on Monday announced she will challenge Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabe Vasquez for the right to represent New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District. U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy joined her in Las Cruces for the announcement.

Herrell quickly dug into Vasquez for his voting on abortion, crime and the oil and gas industry that generates income for New Mexico.

“We don’t have anyone watching out for our interests and what’s important to us,” Herrell said of Vasquez. “He voted no on protecting the unborn, he voted no on the Abortion Born Alive Act.”

Herrell promised to vote in favor of border security if elected, be hard on fentanyl trafficking and do more for veterans. Southern New Mexico remains one of the areas of heaviest migrant smuggling and migrant stash house activity on the U.S.-Mexico border. Southwestern New Mexico has become a corridor for migrant smugglers seeking to avoid U.S. Border Patrol checkpoints in Southeastern Arizona, according to federal court records.

U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-California, left, was at Yvette Herrell’s campaign announcement Monday in Las Cruces. (photo courtesy Republican Party of New Mexico)

Border Report reached out to Vasquez’s office for comment. His campaign team responded with an email: “While Yvette Herrell’s crusade to ban abortion is impressive, Congressman Vasquez is focused on getting things done for the people of Southern New Mexico.”

Vasquez, a former Las Cruces City Council member, ousted incumbent Herrell by 1,350 votes last November. Herrell had been elected to Congress two years earlier by beating incumbent Democrat Xochitl Torres Small by nearly 20,000 votes.

Results of 2022 New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District election. (NM Secretary of State)

The 2022 election was the first since the state legislature redrew District 2 to include portions of Albuquerque and drop some rural enclaves that supported Herrell. The district includes all New Mexico lands that border Mexico.

New Mexico GOP Chairman Steve Pearce said he’s enthusiastic Republicans can win back the district.

“New Mexicans aren’t happy with Gabe Vasquez’s progressive leadership. Gabe is indebted to the radical left and out of touch with many industries that his district relies on, like oil and gas,” Pearce said in a statement. “District 2 is shaping up to be a very competitive race in 2024 and I look forward to seeing a Republican win back this seat.”