New Mexico Democratic state Rep. Melanie Stansbury won the special election to succeed now-Interior Secretary Deb Haaland over her Republican opponent, according to preliminary results.
Stansbury, an environmental consultant first elected in 2018, beat fellow state Rep. Mark Moores to represent the state’s 1st Congressional District by almost 25 points, according to the New York Times election tracker. Though Stansbury was favored given the seat’s liberal lean, forecasters said her margin of victory was wider than they expected when the race was called.
Special elections, like those held earlier this year in Texas and Louisiana, are often seen a primary test of each party’s respective strength ahead of upcoming midterm elections.
Thank you New Mexico! ❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/p0VnZvAg66
— Melanie Stansbury (@MelanieforNM) June 2, 2021
Despite his loss, Moores consistently campaigned on law enforcement and crime, an issue which some Democrats have attributed to the party’s recent congressional losses. Moores repeatedly labeled Stansbury weak on crime, and campaigned on reversing Albuquerque’s rising crime rate.
Stansbury’s win gives House Democrats 220 seats once she is sworn in, helping pad their extremely slim majority. Republicans hold 211 seats following Ohio Rep. Steve Stivers’ resignation in May. (RELATED: Haaland Confirmed As Interior Secretary)
Though Democrats have the majority, the upcoming decennial redistricting and historical trends point to it being at tremendous risk ahead of the midterms. Republicans have full control of redistricting in large states like Texas, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, and midterm elections have historically favored the party out of the White House.
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