Herrell takes NM Congressional District 2 while Haaland and Leger Fernandez win U.S. House races

By William Jennings / NM News Port

With all of New Mexico’s races now called, Democrats will take two out of three U.S. House seats up for grabs in New Mexico this election. 

Early Wednesday morning, Republican challenger Yvette Herrell was called the winner in the CD2 race, winning with 54% of the vote. Her opponent, Democratic incumbent Xochitl Torres Small had 46% of the vote.

The 2020 election marked another fierce faceoff between Torres Small and Herrell after the two locked horns in the 2018 election, when Torres Small won the district by fewer than 2,000 votes out of nearly 200,000 cast, ending Herrell’s eight year residency in Washington. 

The race between Torres Small and Herrell has drawn national attention with even President Trump weighing in to campaign virtually for the republican candidate.  

Torres Small, meanwhile, had emphasized her dedication to the oil and gas industries that dominate the southern New Mexico district. 

Elsewhere in the state, Democratic Congresswoman Deb Haaland defeated her Republican challenger, Michelle Garcia Holmes, to retain her 1st District seat representing Albuquerque.

Haaland won in Congressional District 1 with 58% of the vote while her opponent, Garcia Holmes took home 42% of the vote .

“The people of New Mexico have chosen hope over fear, love over hate, community over division,” Haaland said on Twitter. “Tonight I recommit to fighting for legislation that will guide our nation forward in the areas of climate change, education, racial equality, healthcare and economic justice.”

In Congressional District 3, Democrat Teresa Leger Fernandez defeated her Republican opponent, Alexis M. Johnson, to become the newest New Mexican to join the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Leger Fernandez won 58% of the vote while Johnson received 42% of the vote.

Leger Fernandez takes over the northern New Mexico house seat vacated by Congressman Ben Ray Luján who ran for U.S. Senate this year. She will become the first woman to hold the seat in the district since its creation in 1983.

In her victory speech, Leger Fernandez said she wants to earn the trust of those who did not vote for her.

“I promise to listen to your voices and strategize with you to help us all solve our common problems,” Leger Fernandez said during a virtual election event held by the New Mexico Democratic Party. “2021 will be transformative as we address the failures that have caused so much death and misery, as we resolve ourselves to act in unison, in the face of a crisis.”

William Jennings is a reporter for New Mexico News Port. He can be reached on Twitter @WillJenningsUNM or by email via nmnewsport@gmail.com.