(The Center Square) – In a rematch of the 2018 election, Republican Yvette Herrell defeated incumbent Democrat Xochitl Torres Small in New Mexico's 2nd Congressional District. Torres Small beat Herrell by less than two percentage points two years ago.
The seat became vacant in 2018 when Republican Steve Pearce stepped down to run for governor, a race he eventually lost to Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham.
Herrell, a former state representative, won with 54 percent of the vote. The district, which is more than a quarter Hispanic, encompasses the entire southern half of the state, from near Albuquerque to the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump carried it by 10 points, 50 to 40, over Hillary Clinton in 2016.
In one of several highly contested U.S. Senate races across the country, Democrat Ben Ray Lujan won in New Mexico with 51.4 percent of the vote.
Lujan has served six terms in Congress representing the state’s 3rd Congressional District and will replace retiring Sen. Tom Udall.
Lujan will be replaced in Congress by Democrat Teresa Leger Fernandez, who defeated Republican Alexis Johnson 58 percent to 42 percent.
In the 1st Congressional District, Debra Haaland was re-elected to a second term, defeating Republican challenger Michelle Garcia Holmes 60 percent to 40 percent.
In state legislative races, Democrats gained one seat in the Senate and now hold a 27-15 majority. Republicans won three seats in the House but Democrats still have a 43 to 26 edge.
Voters in the Albuquerque area also elected the first ever independent candidate to the state legislature. Brittney Barreras, who has no party affiliation but was endorsed by several Democratic lawmakers, defeated Democrat Art De La Cruz, who was running as a write-in. She will succeed Democrat Patricio Ruiloba, who was disqualified from the June 2 primary ballot for incorrectly filling out qualifying paperwork.
In the state’s top judicial races, Democratic incumbents retained two seats on the Supreme Court and three on the Court of Appeals.
All three ballot initiatives passed by substantial margins.
The Public Regulation Commission, which oversees utilities, will change from a five-person elected body to three members appointed by the governor.
Voters also gave legislators the power to pass laws adjusting election dates and office terms for state and county elected officials and approved $33 million in bonds to make improvements to senior care facilities.