EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Political pundits said U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small would face a hard fight to hang on to her seat in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District. The aggressive television ads on the part of both rivals attested to that.
But few predicted a lopsided victory for her Republican opponent, former state representative Yvette Herrell. The challenger led Torres Small by a whopping 63% to 37% of the vote with 605 of the district’s 619 precincts fully counted or partially counted.
Late Tuesday night, the incumbent refused to concede the race.
“Thousands of votes remain uncounted and our campaign will make sure than New Mexicans have their voices heard and will continue to make sure all their votes are counted,” said Emma Caccamo, Torres Small’s campaign manager.
She said the congresswoman remained confident that the district’s voters were aware of her record in delivering results for her constituents and being willing to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle in Congress.
Herrell told KTSM late Tuesday that voters responded to her hard work on the campaign trail and were aware of her character, pro-business and pro-Second Amendment record.
The district includes a 180-mile stretch of border with Mexico and Hispanic majority communities like Las Cruces and Sunland Park. It also includes large rural areas heavily dependent on farming, ranching, mining and oil and gas exploration. And it has voted Republican 35 out of the past 39 years.