Biden taps ex-New Mexico lawmaker for USDA post

Greg Nash

President Biden on Friday announced he plans to nominate former Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) for a role in the Department of Agriculture (USDA) after she lost her reelection bid last November.

If confirmed, Torres Small would serve as the undersecretary of rural development at the USDA. The White House touted her political organizing experience in rural New Mexico and her term representing the state’s second congressional district, which includes large swaths of rural land.

“Throughout her career, Torres Small has employed her experience organizing in vulnerable, rural communities to achieve lasting investments that combat persistent poverty,” the White House said.

In winning her 2018 race, Torres Small became the first woman and first person of color to represent New Mexico’s 2nd District. Torres Small lost her reelection bid in 2020 by roughly 20,000 votes to Republican Yvette Herrell.

Torres Small, who is 36, is the second lawmaker who lost in 2020 to get a spot in the Biden administration. Biden previously nominated former Rep. Gil Cisneros (D-Calif.) for an undersecretary role in the Defense department.

Tags Gil Cisneros Joe Biden New Mexico rural Rural America USDA

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