Campaign

GOP’s Yvette Herrell unseats Torres Small in New Mexico rematch

For Republican Yvette Herrell, the second time was a charm.

Herrell, a former New Mexico state legislator, defeated Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) on Tuesday, reclaiming a seat for the Republicans in one of the nation’s most competitive districts.

The Associated Press called the race for the Republican incumbent at 2:13 a.m. EST. 

The race was a rematch of 2018, when Torres Small had squeaked out a victory over Herrell by fewer than 3,800 votes, and Republicans had fought hard to retake the seat this time around.

The region is a lucrative hub for the oil and gas industries, which are under fire from Democrats — including Joe Biden — who are seeking a shift to green energy. And Herrell’s campaign hinged on tying Torres Small to both Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), a San Francisco liberal who remains toxic in conservative parts of the country.

Torres Small, who soon turns 36, sought to fend off suggestions that she’s a rubber stamp for her party, pointing to clashes with the liberal wing and rejecting Herrell’s accusations that she was hostile to fossil fuels. The incumbent also enjoyed a vast money advantage, outraising Herrell $7.5 million to $2.5 million over the cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

History, though, was not on her side.

President Trump had won the district by 10 points in 2016, and Republicans have controlled the 2nd District — a sprawling tract that occupies the entirety of the state’s southern border with Mexico — for all but four of the past 40 years.

Herrell’s victory has bought them two more.

Tags 2020 elections Donald Trump Joe Biden Nancy Pelosi New Mexico Xochitl Torres Small Yvette Herrell
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