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Las Cruces City Councilor Gabriel Vasquez has announced that he will not be a candidate for re-election to a second term this November.
Vasquez was elected to represent District 3 on the council in November 2017, winning 70 percent of the vote. District 3 includes east-central Las Cruces.
Vasquez, 36, is a project director for the Western Conservation Foundation.
“I intend to continue serving the community and state that I love, but in a different capacity,” Vasquez said. “What that looks like remains to be determined, but I will continue to seek opportunities for public service, volunteerism and work that contributes to creating a healthy, vibrant, fair and equitable community here and across the state.
Vasquez’s decision not to run again means there will be at least two new council members come January 2022. District 5 Councilor Gill Sorg announced in April that he also would not seek re-election. District 6 Councilor Yvonne Flores said she will seek a second four-year term on the council.
Vasquez, whose term continues through the end of 2021, said he is proud of his accomplishments on the city council and looks forward “to opening the doors to a new, dynamic, thoughtful and motivated candidate to continue the work we've started in District 3 and to bring new ideas, perspectives, and initiatives to the table.”
In his three years on the council, Vasquez said he has “led the charge to complete the Nevada Neighborhood Cooling Corridor project, catalyzed the reconstruction of the city's lone skate park, secured funding for the design of what stands to be the city's largest urban open space in Villa Mora Dam, led the charge to fund the city's first response to the asylum-seeker crisis and led the formation of the new El Paseo-Solano corridor redevelopment project, among many other proud accomplishments that have delivered tangible results to the people and communities of District 3.
“This job has been incredibly rewarding, and the trust and confidence of the voters of this district will continue to inspire me to serve my community in other ways,” Vasquez said. “I remain steadfast in my belief that when we reinvest in the inner part of the city, everybody benefits, and we begin to slowly tackle the inequities that permeate throughout our city, our state and our country. In Las Cruces, we can continue to lead by example with bold, forward-thinking leadership that values every life, every neighborhood and every young person's future.
“I'm also proud to have been such an outspoken advocate for issues at the state and federal level, that I remain incredibly passionate about, and that I believed have moved the needle toward transformative reform, such as liquor license reform and cannabis legalization,” he said.
“I look forward to finishing my term strong and placing a particular focus on delivering policy recommendations to the city council that will transform the El Paseo and Solano business and residential corridors for generations to come.”
A native of El Paso, he is a first-generation Mexican-American whose parents were migrant workers.
Vasquez grew up in Juarez and El Paso and has lived in Las Cruces since 2002. He graduated from New Mexico State University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in journalism and public relations.
His professional experience includes working as the business editor of the Las Cruces Bulletin, executive director of the Hispano Chamber of Commerce de Las Cruces, as vice president of public relations for a local medical monitoring device company and as an aide to U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich. Vasquez has also worked in Washington, D.C., as a communications director and public policy expert for a nonpartisan children’s advocacy organization.