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Democrats Flip Another House Seat With New Mexico Victory

Xochitl Torres Small
Xochitl Torres Small

Xochitl Torres Small's win brings the Democrats' gain to 39 seats, according to CNN.

Democrats have flipped another U.S. House seat with Xochitl Torres Small's win in New Mexico's Second Congressional District being certified by the secretary of state Tuesday morning.

Her victory "brings the total number of Democratic gains in the House to 39 seats, with one race outstanding," CNN reports.

Torres Small, an attorney in Las Cruces, defeated Republican Yvette Herrell, a New Mexico state representative, in the race to replace another Republican, Steve Pearce, who did not seek reelection. Her win also means all three of New Mexico's U.S. House seats will be held by Democrats.

She was endorsed by Equality New Mexico, the state's largest and oldest LGBTQ rights group. Her platform emphasized economic development, support for public education, expansion of health care, and immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as minors. Pearce, the representative she's replacing, has a string of low scores on the Human Rights Campaign's Congressional Scorecard, with zeroes in two recent sessions.

Herrell, who has been called the most conservative member of the New Mexico House, touted her opposition to abortion and commitment to defunding Planned Parenthood, along with her support for gun rights, downsizing the federal government, and cracking down on illegal immigration. She is a strong ally of Donald Trump.

"One of the exciting things about this incredibly large freshman class is just how many people we have representing all walks of life," Torres Small told the Las Cruces Sun News. "People like myself who are still paying student loans, people who had to leave their jobs to run for office and are living without a paycheck right now as we plan for how we do this work."

The one U.S. House race that remains undecided is in California's 21st Congressional District, and it could result in another Democratic gain, CNN reports. Democrat T.J. Cox took a lead over incumbent Republican David Valadao Monday night; several media outlets had called the race for Valadao on election night. Vote counting continues in the district, located in the state's Central Valley. Valadao has a poor record on LGBTQ issues, according to HRC's scorecard. Cox has the endorsement of LGBTQ rights group Equality California.

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