While Albuquerque saw several progressive City Council incumbents voted out of office by candidates adhering to a more center-right platform on Tuesday, Las Cruces saw several progressive City Council candidates voted into office. Even more significant is that, for the first time ever, women will represent all six City Council districts. And even more significantly, voters elected the first LGBTQ women to City Council in Las Cruces.
Becki Graham, Becky Corran and Yvonne Flores won their seats for districts 3, 4 and 6. Councilors Kasandra Gandara, Tessa Abeyta Stuve and Johana Bencomo were not up for reelection.
Graham, Corran and Flores all won their districts with over 50 percent of the vote. Graham, a senior program manager at New Mexico State University, defeated conservative Christian Bev Courtney. Graham received 52 percent of the vote to Courtney’s 45 percent and write-in Greg Shervanick’s 2 percent. Corran won her four-person ranked-choice race for district 4 with 56.4 percent of the vote. Flores decisively won her race against William Beerman with 56.4 percent of the vote.
The Paper. spoke to Becky Corran on the significance of an all-woman council and what she hopes to accomplish during her term. Corran is also the first queer woman elected to Las Cruces City Council.
Corran ran as a Democratic candidate and identified with many ideas that have been traditionally associated with progressivism, such as combating climate change, affordable housing and livable wages. According to Corran, during her time on the campaign trail and speaking with members of her community, these ideas are becoming more mainstream. “My priorities really are making sure thinking about economic recovery and housing development in the context of global climate change, making sure that we’re living sustainably, and making sure folks here have access to green spaces and reduced traffic,” Corran said.
When asked about working with a City Council composed entirely of women, Corran expressed optimism about the representation and diversity of the governing body. Corran expressed that she was proud “to be joining City Council that will be made up of six women representing every district from across Las Cruces and the majority being women of color.”
“I’m really excited to collaborate with a bunch of really compassionate and thoughtful women,” Corran added.
Corran is a professor at Dona Ana Community College and is an alum of Emerge New Mexico, an organization that recruits New Mexico women to run for office to increase diversity in the state. Corran ran on a platform of equity, access and health.
Graham, Corran and Flores will be sworn into office on December 20. The new Las Cruces City Council will meet for the first time on January 3.